Aftershocks Continue to Strike Solomon Islands
Seven fishermen from Viru in the Western Province were reported missing amid continuing aftershocks, the Solomon Star newspaper reported. The seven have not been seen since Monday’s mainshock and tsunami.
As of posting, 8 more aftershock Measuring greater than M5.0 have struck near the epicenter of the mainshock that occurred on January 4. See:
The largest of these aftershocks measured up to 7.2Mw.
The Solomon Islands region, which comprises a section of the Pacific Ring of Fire, is particularly prone to earthquakes because of the above average rate of convergence of the Australia and Pacific tectonic plates in the region.
The down-going slab of the Australian plate is overridden by leading edge of the Pacific Plate at a rate of about 10 cm/yr near the location where the shocks occurred.
As the subducting plate is forced into the earth’s mantle, the more brittle areas of the crust is crushed resulting in the release of stress energy—earthquakes.
Damage from Monday’s mainshock and tsunami to an unidentified village in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands. Credit: Regional Assistance Mission To Solomon Islands (handout via Reuters).
Earthquake location Map. Source: USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW.
Details of the largest aftershock:
- Magnitude: 6.9 [Maximum EQ magnitude estimated at 7.2 Mw by FireEarth – USGS/EHP may be systematically downgrading earthquakes by an average of 0.3Mw, probably for political reasons]
- Tuesday, January 05, 2010 at 12:15:36 UTC
- Tuesday, January 05, 2010 at 11:15:36 PM at epicenter
- Location: 8.886°S, 157.522°E
- Depth: 35 km (21.7 miles) set by location program
- Region: SOLOMON ISLANDS
- 115 km (70 miles) SE of Gizo, New Georgia Islands, Solomon Isl.
- 190 km (120 miles) WSW of Dadali, Santa Isabel, Solomon Islands
- 275 km (170 miles) WNW of HONIARA, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
- 2115 km (1310 miles) NNE of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
- Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 7.2 km (4.5 miles)
- Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
- Event ID: us2010rca2
No tsunami reported.