Series of strong earthquakes near Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia

A series of strong earthquakes hit near the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia on October 16, 2018. The sequence started with M6.3, registered by the USGS at 00:28 UTC.

The quake was followed by M6.4 at 01:03 UTC and 14 quakes over the next 6 hours with magnitudes between 4.8 and 5.8. All of them struck at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles).

The epicenter was located 167 km (104 miles) W of Tadine (population 7 492), New Caledonia and 243 km (151 miles) SSE of Isangel (population 1 437), Vanuatu.

The quakes did not produce a tsunami.

There are no people living within 100 km (62 miles).

Some 9 000 people are estimated to have felt light shaking and 352 000 weak.

The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are unknown/miscellaneous types and wood construction.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

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Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: USGS/EMSC

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