Environment

Strong and shallow M6.2 earthquake hits Tonga

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A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.2 hit Tonga at 08:33 UTC (21:33 LT) on November 10, 2018. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.1 at a depth of 60 km (37 miles).

According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 97 km (60 miles) SE of Pangai, 158 km (99 miles) ENE of Nuku’alofa, Tonga and 761 km (473 miles) SSW of Tafuna, American Samoa.

There are 3 000 people living within 100 km (62 miles).

Some 7 000 people are estimated to have felt light shaking and 107 000 weak.

The USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are informal (metal, timber, GI etc.) and unknown/miscellaneous types construction.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: USGS, EMSC


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