Environment

Very strong and shallow M7.5 earthquake hits New Caledonia, tsunami waves observed


A very strong earthquake registered by the USGS as M7.5 hit south of the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia at 04:18 UTC on December 5, 2018. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). EMSC is reporting M7.6 at a depth of 30 km (18.6 miles).

According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 168 km (104 miles) ESE of Tadine and 254 km (158 miles) ESE of We, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia.

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

Some 3 000 people are estimated to have felt moderate shaking, 154 000 light, and 206 000 weak.

The quake was preceded by M6.0 at 04:14 UTC and followed by M5.9 at 04:28 UTC, M5.9 at 04:30 UTC, M5.6 at 04:31 UTC, M4.9 at 04:41 UTC, M5.7 at 04:41 UTC, M5.3 at 04:50 UTC and M5.2 at 04:54 UTC.

Tsunami waves have been observed, PTWC said.

Based on all available data, hazardous tsunami waves are forecast for some coasts.

Tsunami waves reaching 1 to 3 m (3 – 10 feet) above tide level are possible along some coasts of New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

Tsunami waves reaching 0.3 to 1 m (1 – 3 feet) above tide level are possible for some coasts of Fiji.,

  * TSUNAMI WAVES HAVE BEEN OBSERVED.

  * BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA... HAZARDOUS TSUNAMI WAVES ARE
    FORECAST FOR SOME COASTS.


TSUNAMI THREAT FORECAST...UPDATED
---------------------------------

  * TSUNAMI WAVES REACHING 1 TO 3 METERS ABOVE THE TIDE LEVEL ARE
    POSSIBLE ALONG SOME COASTS OF

      NEW CALEDONIA... AND VANUATU.


  * TSUNAMI WAVES REACHING 0.3 TO 1 METERS ABOVE THE TIDE LEVEL
    ARE POSSIBLE FOR SOME COASTS OF

      FIJI.


  * TSUNAMI WAVES ARE FORECAST TO BE LESS THAN 0.3 METERS ABOVE
    THE TIDE LEVEL FOR THE COASTS OF

      AMERICAN SAMOA... ANTARCTICA... AUSTRALIA... CHILE...
      CHINA... CHUUK... COLOMBIA... COOK ISLANDS... COSTA
      RICA... ECUADOR... EL SALVADOR... FRENCH POLYNESIA...
      GUAM... GUATEMALA... HAWAII... HONDURAS... HOWLAND AND
      BAKER... INDONESIA... JAPAN... JARVIS ISLAND... JOHNSTON
      ATOLL... KERMADEC ISLANDS... KIRIBATI... KOSRAE...
      MALAYSIA... MARSHALL ISLANDS... MEXICO... MIDWAY ISLAND...
      NAURU... NEW ZEALAND... NICARAGUA... NIUE... NORTHERN
      MARIANAS... NORTHWESTERN HAWAIIAN ISLANDS... PALAU...
      PALMYRA ISLAND... PANAMA... PAPUA NEW GUINEA... PERU...
      PHILIPPINES... PITCAIRN ISLANDS... POHNPEI... RUSSIA...
      SAMOA... SOLOMON ISLANDS... TAIWAN... TOKELAU... TONGA...
      TUVALU... WAKE ISLAND... WALLIS AND FUTUNA... AND YAP.

 

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 highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are unknown/miscellaneous types and wood construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as tsunamis that might have contributed to losses.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking


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Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

PTWC’s tsunami messages

000
WEPA40 PHEB 050425
TSUPAC

TSUNAMI MESSAGE NUMBER 1
NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI
0424 UTC WED DEC 5 2018

...PTWC TSUNAMI THREAT MESSAGE...


**** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE *****

 THIS MESSAGE IS ISSUED FOR INFORMATION ONLY IN SUPPORT OF THE
 UNESCO/IOC PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING AND MITIGATION SYSTEM AND IS
 MEANT FOR NATIONAL AUTHORITIES IN EACH COUNTRY OF THAT SYSTEM.

 NATIONAL AUTHORITIES WILL DETERMINE THE APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF
 ALERT FOR EACH COUNTRY AND MAY ISSUE ADDITIONAL OR MORE REFINED
 INFORMATION.

**** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE *****


PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE PARAMETERS
---------------------------------

  * MAGNITUDE      7.6
  * ORIGIN TIME    0418 UTC DEC 5 2018
  * COORDINATES    22.1 SOUTH  169.2 EAST
  * DEPTH          10 KM / 6 MILES
  * LOCATION       SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS


EVALUATION
----------

  * AN EARTHQUAKE WITH A PRELIMINARY MAGNITUDE OF 7.6 OCCURRED
    SOUTHEAST OF THE LOYALTY ISLANDS AT 0418 UTC ON WEDNESDAY
    DECEMBER 5 2018.

  * BASED ON THE PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE PARAMETERS... HAZARDOUS
    TSUNAMI WAVES ARE POSSIBLE FOR COASTS LOCATED WITHIN 1000 KM
    OF THE EARTHQUAKE EPICENTER.


TSUNAMI THREAT FORECAST
-----------------------

  * HAZARDOUS TSUNAMI WAVES FROM THIS EARTHQUAKE ARE POSSIBLE
    WITHIN 1000 KM OF THE EPICENTER ALONG THE COASTS OF

      VANUATU AND NEW CALEDONIA


RECOMMENDED ACTIONS
-------------------

  * GOVERNMENT AGENCIES RESPONSIBLE FOR THREATENED COASTAL AREAS
    SHOULD TAKE ACTION TO INFORM AND INSTRUCT ANY COASTAL
    POPULATIONS AT RISK IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR OWN
    EVALUATION... PROCEDURES AND THE LEVEL OF THREAT.

  * PERSONS LOCATED IN THREATENED COASTAL AREAS SHOULD STAY ALERT
    FOR INFORMATION AND FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS FROM NATIONAL AND
    LOCAL AUTHORITIES.


ESTIMATED TIMES OF ARRIVAL
--------------------------

  * ESTIMATED TIMES OF ARRIVAL -ETA- OF THE INITIAL TSUNAMI WAVE
    FOR PLACES WITH A POTENTIAL TSUNAMI THREAT. ACTUAL ARRIVAL
    TIMES MAY DIFFER AND THE INITIAL WAVE MAY NOT BE THE
    LARGEST. A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES AND THE TIME BETWEEN
    WAVES CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO ONE HOUR.

    LOCATION         REGION             COORDINATES    ETA(UTC)
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    ANATOM ISLAND    VANUATU           20.2S 169.9E   0442 12/05
    NOUMEA           NEW CALEDONIA     22.3S 166.5E   0525 12/05
    ESPERITU SANTO   VANUATU           15.1S 167.3E   0539 12/05


POTENTIAL IMPACTS
-----------------

  * A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES. THE TIME BETWEEN WAVE CRESTS
    CAN VARY FROM 5 MINUTES TO AN HOUR. THE HAZARD MAY PERSIST
    FOR MANY HOURS OR LONGER AFTER THE INITIAL WAVE.

  * IMPACTS CAN VARY SIGNIFICANTLY FROM ONE SECTION OF COAST TO
    THE NEXT DUE TO LOCAL BATHYMETRY AND THE SHAPE AND ELEVATION
    OF THE SHORELINE.

  * IMPACTS CAN ALSO VARY DEPENDING UPON THE STATE OF THE TIDE AT
    THE TIME OF THE MAXIMUM TSUNAMI WAVES.

  * PERSONS CAUGHT IN THE WATER OF A TSUNAMI MAY DROWN... BE
    CRUSHED BY DEBRIS IN THE WATER... OR BE SWEPT OUT TO SEA.


NEXT UPDATE AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
--------------------------------------

  * THE NEXT MESSAGE WILL BE ISSUED IN ONE HOUR... OR SOONER IF
    THE SITUATION WARRANTS.

  * AUTHORITATIVE INFORMATION ABOUT THE EARTHQUAKE FROM THE U.S.
    GEOLOGICAL SURVEY CAN BE FOUND ON THE INTERNET AT
    EARTHQUAKE.USGS.GOV/EARTHQUAKES -ALL LOWER CASE-.

  * FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THIS EVENT MAY BE FOUND AT
    PTWC.WEATHER.GOV AND AT WWW.TSUNAMI.GOV.

  * COASTAL REGIONS OF HAWAII... AMERICAN SAMOA... GUAM... AND
    CNMI SHOULD REFER TO PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER MESSAGES
    SPECIFICALLY FOR THOSE PLACES THAT CAN BE FOUND AT
    PTWC.WEATHER.GOV.

  * COASTAL REGIONS OF CALIFORNIA... OREGON... WASHINGTON...
    BRITISH COLUMBIA AND ALASKA SHOULD ONLY REFER TO U.S.
    NATIONAL TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER MESSAGES THAT CAN BE FOUND
    AT NTWC.ARH.NOAA.GOV.

$$
054
WEPA40 PHEB 050609
TSUPAC

TSUNAMI MESSAGE NUMBER 5
NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI
0609 UTC WED DEC 5 2018

...PTWC TSUNAMI THREAT MESSAGE...


**** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE *****

 THIS MESSAGE IS ISSUED FOR INFORMATION ONLY IN SUPPORT OF THE
 UNESCO/IOC PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING AND MITIGATION SYSTEM AND IS
 MEANT FOR NATIONAL AUTHORITIES IN EACH COUNTRY OF THAT SYSTEM.

 NATIONAL AUTHORITIES WILL DETERMINE THE APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF
 ALERT FOR EACH COUNTRY AND MAY ISSUE ADDITIONAL OR MORE REFINED
 INFORMATION.

**** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE **** NOTICE *****

THE TSUNAMI FORECAST IS UNCHANGED IN THIS MESSAGE.


PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE PARAMETERS
---------------------------------

  * MAGNITUDE      7.6
  * ORIGIN TIME    0418 UTC DEC 5 2018
  * COORDINATES    22.1 SOUTH  169.2 EAST
  * DEPTH          10 KM / 6 MILES
  * LOCATION       SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS


EVALUATION
----------

  * AN EARTHQUAKE WITH A PRELIMINARY MAGNITUDE OF 7.6 OCCURRED
    SOUTHEAST OF THE LOYALTY ISLANDS AT 0418 UTC ON WEDNESDAY
    DECEMBER 5 2018.

  * TSUNAMI WAVES HAVE BEEN OBSERVED.

  * BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA... HAZARDOUS TSUNAMI WAVES ARE
    FORECAST FOR SOME COASTS.


TSUNAMI THREAT FORECAST
-----------------------

  * TSUNAMI WAVES REACHING 1 TO 3 METERS ABOVE THE TIDE LEVEL ARE
    POSSIBLE ALONG SOME COASTS OF

      NEW CALEDONIA... AND VANUATU.


  * TSUNAMI WAVES REACHING 0.3 TO 1 METERS ABOVE THE TIDE LEVEL
    ARE POSSIBLE FOR SOME COASTS OF

      FIJI.


  * TSUNAMI WAVES ARE FORECAST TO BE LESS THAN 0.3 METERS ABOVE
    THE TIDE LEVEL FOR THE COASTS OF

      AMERICAN SAMOA... ANTARCTICA... AUSTRALIA... CHILE...
      CHINA... CHUUK... COLOMBIA... COOK ISLANDS... COSTA
      RICA... ECUADOR... EL SALVADOR... FRENCH POLYNESIA...
      GUAM... GUATEMALA... HAWAII... HONDURAS... HOWLAND AND
      BAKER... INDONESIA... JAPAN... JARVIS ISLAND... JOHNSTON
      ATOLL... KERMADEC ISLANDS... KIRIBATI... KOSRAE...
      MALAYSIA... MARSHALL ISLANDS... MEXICO... MIDWAY ISLAND...
      NAURU... NEW ZEALAND... NICARAGUA... NIUE... NORTHERN
      MARIANAS... NORTHWESTERN HAWAIIAN ISLANDS... PALAU...
      PALMYRA ISLAND... PANAMA... PAPUA NEW GUINEA... PERU...
      PHILIPPINES... PITCAIRN ISLANDS... POHNPEI... RUSSIA...
      SAMOA... SOLOMON ISLANDS... TAIWAN... TOKELAU... TONGA...
      TUVALU... WAKE ISLAND... WALLIS AND FUTUNA... AND YAP.


  * ACTUAL AMPLITUDES AT THE COAST MAY VARY FROM FORECAST
    AMPLITUDES DUE TO UNCERTAINTIES IN THE FORECAST AND LOCAL
    FEATURES. IN PARTICULAR MAXIMUM TSUNAMI AMPLITUDES ON ATOLLS
    AND AT LOCATIONS WITH FRINGING OR BARRIER REEFS WILL LIKELY
    BE MUCH SMALLER THAN THE FORECAST INDICATES.

  * FOR OTHER AREAS COVERED BY THIS PRODUCT A FORECAST HAS NOT
    YET BEEN COMPUTED. THE FORECAST WILL BE EXPANDED IF
    NECESSARY IN SUBSEQUENT PRODUCTS.


RECOMMENDED ACTIONS
-------------------

  * GOVERNMENT AGENCIES RESPONSIBLE FOR THREATENED COASTAL AREAS
    SHOULD TAKE ACTION TO INFORM AND INSTRUCT ANY COASTAL
    POPULATIONS AT RISK IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR OWN
    EVALUATION... PROCEDURES AND THE LEVEL OF THREAT.

  * PERSONS LOCATED IN THREATENED COASTAL AREAS SHOULD STAY ALERT
    FOR INFORMATION AND FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS FROM NATIONAL AND
    LOCAL AUTHORITIES.


ESTIMATED TIMES OF ARRIVAL
--------------------------

  * ESTIMATED TIMES OF ARRIVAL -ETA- OF THE INITIAL TSUNAMI WAVE
    FOR PLACES WITHIN THREATENED REGIONS ARE GIVEN BELOW. ACTUAL
    ARRIVAL TIMES MAY DIFFER AND THE INITIAL WAVE MAY NOT BE THE
    LARGEST. A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES AND THE TIME BETWEEN
    WAVES CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO ONE HOUR.

    LOCATION         REGION             COORDINATES    ETA(UTC)
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    NOUMEA           NEW CALEDONIA     22.3S 166.5E   0525 12/05
    ESPERITU SANTO   VANUATU           15.1S 167.3E   0539 12/05
    SUVA             FIJI              18.1S 178.4E   0604 12/05


POTENTIAL IMPACTS
-----------------

  * A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES. THE TIME BETWEEN WAVE CRESTS
    CAN VARY FROM 5 MINUTES TO AN HOUR. THE HAZARD MAY PERSIST
    FOR MANY HOURS OR LONGER AFTER THE INITIAL WAVE.

  * IMPACTS CAN VARY SIGNIFICANTLY FROM ONE SECTION OF COAST TO
    THE NEXT DUE TO LOCAL BATHYMETRY AND THE SHAPE AND ELEVATION
    OF THE SHORELINE.

  * IMPACTS CAN ALSO VARY DEPENDING UPON THE STATE OF THE TIDE AT
    THE TIME OF THE MAXIMUM TSUNAMI WAVES.

  * PERSONS CAUGHT IN THE WATER OF A TSUNAMI MAY DROWN... BE
    CRUSHED BY DEBRIS IN THE WATER... OR BE SWEPT OUT TO SEA.


TSUNAMI OBSERVATIONS
--------------------

  * THE FOLLOWING ARE TSUNAMI WAVE OBSERVATIONS FROM COASTAL
    AND/OR DEEP-OCEAN SEA LEVEL GAUGES AT THE INDICATED
    LOCATIONS. THE MAXIMUM TSUNAMI HEIGHT IS MEASURED WITH
    RESPECT TO THE NORMAL TIDE LEVEL.

                            GAUGE      TIME OF   MAXIMUM     WAVE
                         COORDINATES   MEASURE   TSUNAMI   PERIOD
    GAUGE LOCATION        LAT   LON     (UTC)     HEIGHT    (MIN)
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    HIENGHENE NEW CALED  20.7S 164.9E    0557   0.09M/ 0.3FT  22
    OUINNE NEW CALEDONI  22.0S 166.7E    0554   0.45M/ 1.5FT  06
    VANUATU              17.8S 168.3E    0543   0.08M/ 0.3FT  14
    THIO NEW CALEDONIA   21.6S 166.2E    0526   0.15M/ 0.5FT  10
    LIFOU NEW CALEDONIA  20.9S 167.3E    0522   0.29M/ 1.0FT  06
    MARE NEW CALEDONIA   21.5S 167.9E    0519   0.43M/ 1.4FT  10
    LENAKEL VU           19.5S 169.3E    0505   0.72M/ 2.4FT  06


NEXT UPDATE AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
--------------------------------------

  * THE NEXT MESSAGE WILL BE ISSUED IN ONE HOUR... OR SOONER IF
    THE SITUATION WARRANTS.

  * AUTHORITATIVE INFORMATION ABOUT THE EARTHQUAKE FROM THE U.S.
    GEOLOGICAL SURVEY CAN BE FOUND ON THE INTERNET AT
    EARTHQUAKE.USGS.GOV/EARTHQUAKES -ALL LOWER CASE-.

  * FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THIS EVENT MAY BE FOUND AT
    PTWC.WEATHER.GOV AND AT WWW.TSUNAMI.GOV.

  * COASTAL REGIONS OF HAWAII... AMERICAN SAMOA... GUAM... AND
    CNMI SHOULD REFER TO PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER MESSAGES
    SPECIFICALLY FOR THOSE PLACES THAT CAN BE FOUND AT
    PTWC.WEATHER.GOV.

  * COASTAL REGIONS OF CALIFORNIA... OREGON... WASHINGTON...
    BRITISH COLUMBIA AND ALASKA SHOULD ONLY REFER TO U.S.
    NATIONAL TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER MESSAGES THAT CAN BE FOUND
    AT NTWC.ARH.NOAA.GOV.

$$

Featured image credit: Google, USGS, TW



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