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Archive for the ‘STRONG CURRENTS’ Category

Magnitude 7.9 Quake Strikes Tonga Region

Posted by feww on March 20, 2009

A Powerful 7.9 Mw Quake Strikes Tonga Region

A magnitude 5.3 Mw foreshock followed the mainshock about two hours later. Further seismic and volcanic activity in the region can be expected.

This Earthquake

[Data provided by USGS Earthquake Hazard Program]

Magnitude: 7.9

Date and time:

  • Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 18:17:40 UTC
  • Friday, March 20, 2009 at 06:17:40 AM at epicenter

Location: 23.021°S, 174.700°W
Depth:  34 km (21.1 miles) set by location program
Region:  TONGA REGION
Distances:

  • 215 km (135 miles) SSE of NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga
  • 490 km (305 miles) S of Neiafu, Tonga
  • 490 km (305 miles) ESE of Ndoi Island, Fiji
  • 1845 km (1140 miles) NE of Auckland, New Zealand

Location Uncertainty:  horizontal +/- 6 km (3.7 miles); depth fixed by location program
Source:  USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID: us2009ejbr

10-degree Map Centered at 25°S,175°W

tonga-quake-20-mar-09
USGS Map of the quake area. Color code for the aftershock changed for contrast.

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (NOAA)

TSUNAMI BULLETIN NUMBER 002
PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS
ISSUED AT 1932Z 19 MAR 2009

THIS BULLETIN APPLIES TO AREAS WITHIN AND BORDERING THE PACIFIC
OCEAN AND ADJACENT SEAS…EXCEPT ALASKA…BRITISH COLUMBIA…
WASHINGTON…OREGON AND CALIFORNIA.

… A TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT …

A TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR

TONGA / NIUE / KERMADEC IS / AMERICAN SAMOA / SAMOA /
WALLIS-FUTUNA / FIJI


EVALUATION

SEA LEVEL READINGS CONFIRM THAT A TSUNAMI WAS GENERATED. THIS
TSUNAMI MAY HAVE BEEN DESTRUCTIVE ALONG COASTLINES OF THE REGION
NEAR THE EARTHQUAKE EPICENTER. AUTHORITIES IN THE REGION SHOULD
TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS POSSIBILITY. THIS
CENTER WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR SEA LEVEL GAUGES NEAREST THE
REGION AND REPORT IF ANY ADDITIONAL TSUNAMI WAVE ACTIVITY. THE
WARNING WILL NOT EXPAND TO OTHER AREAS OF THE PACIFIC UNLESS
ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED TO WARRANT SUCH AN EXPANSION.

FOR AFFECTED AREAS – WHEN NO MAJOR WAVES ARE OBSERVED FOR TWO
HOURS AFTER THE ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL OR DAMAGING WAVES HAVE
NOT OCCURRED FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS THEN LOCAL AUTHORITIES CAN
ASSUME THE THREAT IS PASSED. DANGER TO BOATS AND COASTAL
STRUCTURES CAN CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS DUE TO RAPID CURRENTS.
AS LOCAL CONDITIONS CAN CAUSE A WIDE VARIATION IN TSUNAMI WAVE
ACTION THE ALL CLEAR DETERMINATION MUST BE MADE BY LOCAL
AUTHORITIES.

ESTIMATED INITIAL TSUNAMI WAVE ARRIVAL TIMES AT FORECAST POINTS
WITHIN THE WARNING AND WATCH AREAS 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
SUCCESSIVE WAVES CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO ONE HOUR.

LOCATION FORECAST POINT COORDINATES ARRIVAL TIME
——————————– ———— ————
TONGA NUKUALOFA: 21.0S 175.2W;  18:45UTC 19 MAR
NIUE NIUE IS.:  19.0S 170.0W;  19:04UTC 19 MAR
KERMADEC IS RAOUL IS.: 29.2S 177.9W; 19:12UTC 19 MAR
AMERICAN SAMOA PAGO PAGO:  14.3S 170.7W; 19:25UTC 19 MAR
SAMOA APIA: 13.8S 171.8W; 19:34UTC 19 MAR
WALLIS-FUTUNA WALLIS IS.: 13.2S 176.2W; 19:47UTC 19 MAR
FIJI SUVA:  18.1S 178.4E; 20:03UTC 19 MAR

Tsunami Warning Update:
TSUNAMI MESSAGE NUMBER 3
NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI
1009 AM HST THU MAR 19 2009
[Message truncated]

EVALUATION

THE PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER HAS CANCELLED THE REGIONAL
TSUNAMI WARNING IT ISSUED FOR ANOTHER PART OF THE PACIFIC. BASED
ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA THERE IS NO DESTRUCTIVE TSUNAMI THREAT TO
HAWAII AND THE ADVISORY FOR HAWAII IS ALSO CANCELLED.

HOWEVER… SOME COASTAL AREAS IN HAWAII COULD EXPERIENCE SMALL
NON-DESTRUCTIVE SEA LEVEL CHANGES AND STRONG OR UNUSUAL CURRENTS
LASTING UP TO SEVERAL HOURS. THE ESTIMATED TIME SUCH EFFECTS
MIGHT BEGIN IS

0236 PM HST THU 19 MAR 2009

THIS WILL BE THE FINAL MESSAGE ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS
ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED.

Posted in NUKUALOFA, Pacific Ring of Fire, STRONG CURRENTS, TONGA REGION | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »