Solomon's earthquake


Screenshot from the Earthquakes @
Geoscience Australia web page,
showing recently recorded significant
earthquakes around Nendo Island.
© Geoscience Australia

A large earthquake measuring 7.9 in magnitude was recorded in the Santa Cruz Islands region on 6 February 2013, triggering local tsunami warnings for the surrounding Pacific Nations.

The shallow earthquake struck at 12:12 AEST approximately 80km West of Nendo, an island that forms part of the Solomon Islands chain.

The earthquake caused severe shaking in Nendo, and generated a tsunami that impacted communities on the Island.

"The region has been very active of late, with seven earthquakes larger than magnitude 6 occurring between 30 January and 6 February. Following the event there have been over 50 aftershocks measuring magnitude 5 or greater", said Dr David Jepsen, Senior Seismologist at Geoscience Australia.

"These earthquakes all occurred in the subduction zone where the Pacific tectonic plate meets the Australian plate, which is a normal part of the earth's dynamic processes", said Dr Jepsen.

Tsunami warnings were later canceled for other Pacific Islands, following tide gauge readings that confirmed only a small tsunami was generated in the wider region.

The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre (JATWC) issued a NIL tsunami threat for Australia within 20 minutes of the earthquake.

JATWC is operated by Geoscience Australia - located in Canberra, and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) - located in Melbourne. The Centre monitors, detects, verifies and warns the Australian community of potential tsunami impacts on Australia's coastline and external territories.