Very strong mag. 6.2 earthquake - 77 Km W of Port-Vila, Vanuatu, on Tuesday, 16 February 2021 at 00:49 (GMT) - information

Very strong mag. 6.2 earthquake - Coral Sea, 77 km west of Port Vila, Shefa Province, Vanuatu, on Tuesday, 16 Feb 2021 11:49 am (GMT +11)

- Very strong mag. 6.2 earthquake - Coral Sea, 77 km west of Port Vila, Shefa Province, Vanuatu, on Tuesday, 16 Feb 2021 11:49 am (GMT +11)

Very strong magnitude 6.2 earthquake at 6 km depth

16 Feb 00:56 UTC: First to report: USGS after 7 minutes.
16 Feb 01:08: Magnitude recalculated from 6.7 to 6.2. Hypocenter depth recalculated from 14.0 to 10.0 km (from 8.7 to 6.2 mi). Epicenter location corrected by 32 km (20 mi) towards WSW.
19 Feb 03:38: Hypocenter depth recalculated from 10.0 to 5.6 km (from 6.2 to 3.5 mi). Epicenter location corrected by 13 km (8.1 mi) towards E.
Update Tue, 16 Feb 2021, 21:42
Very strong quake shakes Vanuatu
Location of this morning's quake in Vanuatu
Location of this morning's quake in Vanuatu
The Australian tectonic plate (image: Wikipedia)
The Australian tectonic plate (image: Wikipedia)
A magnitude 6.2 (USGS) earthquake shook Vanuatu on Tuesday morning, Feb. 16, 2021, at 11:49 am local time. The epicenter was located about 59 km off the coast of Port Vila, Vanuatu, at a shallow depth of 14km. Users reported moderate to strong shaking in Port Vila, with one observing that the “ground continued to move a few minutes after the shake”.
There was also vertical (up-down) swinging reported during the quake, normally only felt by those closest to the epicenter. These waves precede the stronger horizontal (sideways) swinging and are not able to propagate longer distances.
Our monitoring service identified foreshocks and aftershocks related to this event. The foreshocks occurred within 24 hours prior the main shock – with magnitudes of 4.7 up to 5.1. Aftershocks were recorded with the latest being within seven hours from the main shock – with magnitudes of 5.1 up to 5.6.

Foreshocks, main shock, and aftershocks
Monitoring seismic activity in the same area, we identified at least four significant quakes with magnitudes of 4.7 up to 5.1 occurring within 24 hours from the 6.2 quake. These are identified as foreshocks.
Foreshocks are earthquakes occurring before a stronger earthquake event – the main shock. Foreshocks can only be identified as such after the main shock has occurred. Foreshocks are not as usual as aftershocks – smaller earthquakes occurring as a result of the main shock. We were very happy to see that the monitoring service was able to record all these!

16FEB (GMT)
1:32 am - 5.6M - aftershock
1:22 am - 5.3M - aftershock
12:49 am - 6.2M - main shock
15FEB (GMT)
8:04 pm - 5.1M - foreshock
4:51 pm - 5.0M - foreshock
10:34 am - 4.9M - foreshock
9:13 am - 4.7M - foreshock

Tectonic setting of Vanuatu
Vanuatu is located near the highly active, and very anomalous subduction zone between the Australian Plate to the west and Pacific Plate – such earthquakes are usual events in the area.
The Australian plate is largely made of continental crust and generally less dense than the oceanic crust of the Pacific plate. Both are colliding in the area of Vanuatu. Normally, the denser plate, in this case the Pacific Plate, should be the one that sinks back underneath the lighter (Australian) plate.
For reasons not completely understood, the opposite is happening near Vanuatu! It is the Australian plate that is dragged, or subducted, under the the Pacific plate here. This anomaly increases the occurrence of frequent, and violent earthquakes along the subduction boundary: The less dense Australian Plate keeps trying to “float” upwards due to its density. The Pacific Plate, however, keeps bringing it down, literally forcing the other plate to subduct underneath it! It is quite the geologic-scale spectacle! But, one that is highly hazardous.

Update Tue, 16 Feb 2021, 01:00
Significant earthquake of magnitude 6.7 just reported 59 km west of Port Vila, Vanuatu
6.7 quake 16 Feb 11:49 am (GMT +11)
6.7 quake 16 Feb 11:49 am (GMT +11)
An earthquake of magnitude 6.7 occurred only 11 minutes ago 59 km west of Port Vila, Vanuatu, the United States Geological Survey reported.
The quake hit at a shallow depth of 14 km beneath the epicenter near Port Vila, Shefa Province, Vanuatu, in the morning on Tuesday 16 February 2021 at 11:49 am local time. The exact magnitude, epicenter, and depth of the quake might be revised within the next few hours or minutes as seismologists review data and refine their calculations, or as other agencies issue their report.
A second report was later issued by the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), which listed it as a magnitude 6.3 earthquake. A third agency, the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), reported the same quake at magnitude 6.3.
Based on the preliminary seismic data, the quake should have been widely felt by almost everyone in the area of the epicenter. It might have caused light to moderate damage.
Moderate shaking probably occurred in Port Vila (pop. 35,900) located 59 km from the epicenter.
VolcanoDiscovery will automatically update magnitude and depth if these change and follow up if other significant news about the quake become available. If you’re in the area, please send us your experience through our reporting mechanism, either online or via our mobile app. This will help us provide more first-hand updates to anyone around the globe who wants to know more about this quake.
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Earthquake data:

Date & time: 16 Feb 2021 00:49:24 UTC -
Local time at epicenter: Tuesday, 16 Feb 2021 11:49 am (GMT +11)
Magnitude: 6.2
Depth: 5.6 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude: 17.8192°S / 167.5901°E (Coral Sea, Vanuatu)
Nearest volcano: North Vate (101 km / 63 mi)
Nearby towns and cities:
77 km (48 mi) W of Port Vila (pop: 35,900) --> See nearby quakes!
196 km (122 mi) S of Norsup (pop: 3,000) --> See nearby quakes!
260 km (161 mi) S of Luganville (pop: 13,400) --> See nearby quakes!
262 km (163 mi) NW of Isangel (pop: 1,440) --> See nearby quakes!
314 km (195 mi) S of Port-Olry (pop: 1,950) --> See nearby quakes!
334 km (208 mi) NNE of Fayaoué (New Caledonia) (pop: 4,410) --> See nearby quakes!
346 km (215 mi) N of Wé (Lifou, New Caledonia) (pop: 10,400) --> See nearby quakes!
416 km (258 mi) N of Tadine (Maré, New Caledonia) (pop: 7,490) --> See nearby quakes!
420 km (261 mi) NE of Poindimié (New Caledonia) (pop: 4,890) --> See nearby quakes!
439 km (273 mi) S of Sola (pop: 1,170) --> See nearby quakes!
173 km (107 mi) S of Malakula Island (pop: 22,900) --> See nearby quakes!
262 km (163 mi) NW of Tanna Island (pop: 28,800) --> See nearby quakes!
166 km (103 mi) SSW of Paama Island (pop: 1,630) --> See nearby quakes!
Weather at epicenter at time of quake:
Broken Clouds 33°C (91 F), humidity: 62%, wind: 3 m/s (5 kts) from NNE
Primary data source: USGS (United States Geological Survey)
Estimated released energy: 1.3 x 1014 joules (35 gigawatt hours, equivalent to 30089 tons of TNT or 1.9 atomic bombs!) More info
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If you felt this quake (or if you were near the epicenter), please share your experience and submit a short "I felt it" report! Other users would love to hear about it!
Also if you did NOT feel the quake although you were in the area, please report it! Your contribution is valuable also to earthquake science and earthquake hazard analysis and mitigation efforts. You can use your device location or the map to indicate where you were during the earthquake. Thank you!

Data for the same earthquake reported by different agencies

Info: The more agencies report about the same quake and post similar data, the more confidence you can have in the data. It takes normally up to a few hours until earthquake parameters are calculated with near-optimum precision.
MagnitudeDepthLocationSource
M 6.25.6 km77 Km W of Port-Vila, VanuatuUSGS
M 6.210 kmVanuatu IslandsGFZ
M 6.710 kmVANUATUEMSC
M 6.410 kmVanuatu IslandsBMKG
M 6.57.8 kmVanuatu Islands [Sea: Vanuatu]INGV
M 6.29.6 kmVanuatu IslandsGeoAu

User reports for this quake (30)

User reports estimate the perceived ground shaking intensity according to the MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity) scale.
Contribute:
Leave a comment if you find a particular report interesting or want to add to it.
Flag as inappropriate.
Mark as helpful or interesting.
Send your own user report!
Port Vila / Strong shaking (MMI VI) : Now this one was really scary. We have a water tank below our lounge, plus a swimming pool. Water was pouring over the edges of the pool. The water tank was making huge gurgles, the cat was screaming. Just another day in wonderful Port Vila. | 41 users found this interesting.
  • Just this morning...it shakes again.. Vanuatu
PORT VILA / Moderate shaking (MMI V) : This was a good one the ground continued to move a few minutes after the shake. | 17 users found this interesting.
Port Vila, Bladiner's Estate, Airport Area / Strong shaking (MMI VI) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 10-15 s : Strong horizontal movements, trees visibly moving and movement well pronounced in parked as well as moving vehicle. Difficulty with balance when standing. Cracks reported on airport terminal building. | 10 users found this interesting.
Port Vila / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / both vertical and horizontal swinging : Quite heavy movement, and several after shocks well after the main quake, i.e. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, more than an hour.... unsettling! | 7 users found this interesting.
Port Vila / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / 20-30 s : There have been several light shakes but nothing fallen off shelves. | 4 users found this interesting.
Port Vila / Light shaking (MMI IV) / 2-5 s : Low frequency shaking. No damage caused. No earth quakes for quite a while. This one was wakes me up.
Port Vila / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / 5-10 s : I was in the car parked outside when I start to feel the car shaking badly. I thought someone was trying to tip the car over. And a big downpour of rain followed.
port vilA / Strong shaking (MMI VI) / 20-30 s : rolling sideways, | One user found this interesting.
Port vila (77.7 km E of epicenter) [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV)
Bellevue area, 2 km from downtown Port Vila (80.8 km E of epicenter) [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) / 2-5 s : Many aftershocks, about 8 of them, within the same hour, lighter than initial shake
Port Vila (77.2 km E of epicenter) [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / rattling, vibrating / 5-10 s (reported through our app)
Port Vila Vanuatu (78.4 km E of epicenter) [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / both vertical and horizontal swinging / 20-30 s
73 km E of epicenter [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) (reported through our app)
77.4 km E of epicenter [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 15-20 s (reported through our app)
77.2 km E of epicenter [Map] / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 15-20 s
77 km E of epicenter [Map] / Strong shaking (MMI VI) / both vertical and horizontal swinging (reported through our app)
85.5 km E of epicenter [Map] / Light shaking (MMI IV) / simple rolling (tilting sideways along one direction) / 15-20 s
Port Vila / Light shaking (MMI IV) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 5-10 s
Port vila / Moderate shaking (MMI V)
Bellevue area, 2km from downtown Port Vila / Light shaking (MMI IV) : Many after shock about 8 in total in the same hour
Port Vila Efate / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / horizontal (sideways) swinging
Port Vila city centre in the office / Light shaking (MMI IV) / both vertical and horizontal swinging
Port Vila / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 10-15 s
Port Vila / Weak shaking (MMI III) / 5-10 s
Port Vila / Light shaking (MMI IV) / horizontal (sideways) swinging
Port Vila, central school / Moderate shaking (MMI V) / rattling, vibrating
Port Vila / Strong shaking (MMI VI)
Port Vila / Light shaking (MMI IV) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 10-15 s
Port vila / Light shaking (MMI IV)
port Vila / Light shaking (MMI IV) / horizontal (sideways) swinging / 10-15 s
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Aftershocks

More info
Recorded aftershocks, latest first (24 quakes):
  • 26 Feb 2021 11:21 UTC
    | M 5.1 |
    10 km (6.2 mi) depth
    |
    40 km (25 mi) distance
    | USGS | Details
  • 20 Feb 2021 17:25 UTC
    | M 5.1 |
    10 km (6.2 mi) depth
    |
    46 km (28 mi) distance
    | USGS | Details
  • 20 Feb 2021 15:49 UTC
    | M 4.8 |
    10 km (6.2 mi) depth
    |
    28 km (17 mi) distance
    | USGS | Details
  • 20 Feb 2021 04:31 UTC
    | M 4.6 |
    10 km (6.2 mi) depth
    |
    46 km (28 mi) distance
    | USGS | Details
  • 20 Feb 2021 03:29 UTC
    | M 4.6 |
    10 km (6.2 mi) depth
    |
    58 km (36 mi) distance
    | USGS | Details
  • 20 Feb 2021 03:16 UTC
    | M 4.7 |
    10 km (6.2 mi) depth
    |
    54 km (34 mi) distance
    | USGS | Details
  • 20 Feb 2021 02:50 UTC
    | M 4.8 |
    10 km (6.2 mi) depth
    |
    44 km (27 mi) distance
    | USGS | Details
  • 20 Feb 2021 02:44 UTC
    | M 5.4 |
    10 km (6.2 mi) depth
    |
    40 km (25 mi) distance
    | GFZ | Details
  • 20 Feb 2021 02:29 UTC
    | M 4.6 |
    10 km (6.2 mi) depth
    |
    49 km (31 mi) distance
    | USGS | Details
  • 19 Feb 2021 09:20 UTC
    | M 5.3 |
    10 km (6.2 mi) depth
    |
    16 km (10 mi) distance
    | USGS | Details
  • 17 Feb 2021 15:25 UTC
    | M 4.7 |
    10 km (6.2 mi) depth
    |
    28 km (18 mi) distance
    | USGS | Details
  • 17 Feb 2021 12:21 UTC
    | M 5.5 |
    20 km (12.4 mi) depth
    |
    43 km (27 mi) distance
    | EMSC | Details
  • 17 Feb 2021 11:45 UTC
    | M 4.9 |
    10 km (6.2 mi) depth
    |
    49 km (30 mi) distance
    | USGS | Details
  • 17 Feb 2021 11:32 UTC
    | M 5.1 |
    10 km (6.2 mi) depth
    |
    36 km (23 mi) distance
    | GFZ | Details
  • 17 Feb 2021 09:30 UTC
    | M 5.3 |
    10 km (6.2 mi) depth
    |
    45 km (28 mi) distance
    | GFZ | Details
  • 17 Feb 2021 03:58 UTC
    | M 5.0 |
    10 km (6.2 mi) depth
    |
    26 km (16 mi) distance
    | USGS | Details
  • Show all

Earlier earthquakes in the same area since 1900


Map of earlier quakes

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