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Large Earthquakes Strike South Pacific

Posted by feww on October 8, 2009

Large Earthquakes Measuring Up to 8.2 Mw Strike Vanuatu, Santa Cruz Islands

FEWW had forecast up to 3 additional large quakes in the PRF

Large earthquake measuring up to 8.2 Mw struck Vanuatu region, south of Lata, Santa Cruz Islands, on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 22:03 UTC  immediately followed by another shock measuring up to 8.1 Mw, and at least seven aftershocks, with the largest two measuring up to 7.6 Mw and 6.3 Mw respectively.

  • FEWW Moderators believe many more massive aftershocks could occur in the region.

  • Megaquakes should also be expected in this and other regions.

10-degree Map Centered at 15°S,165°E

Earthquake Location Map.
Source: USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW

Earthquake Details

  • Magnitude:  8.2 as estimated by FEWW  [downgraded by USGS/EHP to M7.8]
  • Date-Time:
    • Wednesday, October 07, 2009 at 22:03:15 UTC
    • Thursday, October 08, 2009 at 09:03:15 AM at epicenter
  • Location: 13.052°S, 166.187°E
  • Depth:  35 km (21.7 miles)
  • Region: VANUATU
  • Distances:
    • 260 km (160 miles) S of Lata, Santa Cruz Islands, Solomon Isl.
    • 295 km (180 miles) NNW of Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
    • 785 km (490 miles) ESE of HONIARA, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
    • 2100 km (1310 miles) NE of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 7.6 km (4.7 miles); depth fixed by location program
  • Parameters NST=169, Nph=169, Dmin=>999 km, Rmss=1.32 sec, Gp= 50°, M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=6
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: us2009mlcf

Tsunami Warning

NOAA/NWS/West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said “a tsunami IS NOT expected along the California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, or Alaska coast. NO tsunami warning, watch or advisory is in effect for these areas.”

NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI had issued a tsunami watch which was later canceled with the following evaluation:




FEWW Forecast the seismic events

Posted in earthquake forecast, Earthquakes, Ewa Beach, feww earthquake forecast, santa cruz islands quake, santa cruz quake, tsunami warning, vanuatu earthquake, vanuatu quake | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

6th Strong Quake Strikes Near Ryukyu Isles, Japan

Posted by feww on September 29, 2009

6 to 8 more EQs may yet strike region

Magnitude 5.9 quake strikes near Ryukyu Islands, close to Iwo-Tori-Shima Volcano

Strong earthquake measuring 5.9 Mw struck near Ryukyu Islands, Japan region, at a depth of 10 km on September 28, 2009 at about 19:23 UTC, USGS EHP reported.

The quake struck about 200 km (125 miles) north of Naha, Okinawa, Japan. Japan Meteorological Agency reported an aftershock measuring 4.3 Mw at 07:48 local time (22:48 UTC). JMA issued NO tsunami warning after the mainshock.

This quake was in line with FEWW forecast made on August 17, 2009.

10-degree Map Centered at 30°N,130°E

Magnitude 5.9 - RYUKYU ISLANDS 28 sep 2009
Earthquake Location Map. Source of the original map: USGS. Map enhanced by FEWW.

Earthquake Details:

  • Magnitude: 5.9
  • Date-Time: Monday, September 28, 2009 at 19:22:57 UTC  [Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 04:22:57 AM at epicenter]
  • Location: 27.943°N, 127.867°E
  • Depth: 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
  • Distances:
    • 200 km (125 miles) N of Naha, Okinawa, Japan
    • 480 km (300 miles) SSW of Kagoshima, Kyushu, Japan
    • 535 km (335 miles) NE of Ishigaki-jima, Ryukyu Islands, Japan
    • 1410 km (880 miles) SW of TOKYO, Japan
  • Location Uncertainty:  horizontal +/- 7.1 km (4.4 miles)
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID:  us2009mcbr

Related Links:

Posted in Japan earthquake foecast, Japan quakes, Japan quakes 2009, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, tokyo quake forecast, tsunami warning | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Latest Earthquakes Magnitude 5.5 +

Posted by feww on September 19, 2009

Latest Earthquakes Measuring Magnitude 5.5 or Larger since September 18, 2009

The following significant earthquakes occurred within a 12-hour period.

The Bali Earthquake detailed below was reported as a Magnitude  6.0  shock by the  European-Mediterranean Seismological Center. 

GFZ Potsdam – Earthquake Bulletin
Region: South of Bali, Indonesia
Time: 2009-09-18 at 23:06:59.5 UTC
Magnitude: 5.9
Epicenter: 115.42°E 9.47°S
Depth: 77 km
Status: automatic
gfz2009simp location map

The quake was described as “very strong” by a number of people who sopke to the media. People were reportedly jumping from building and running away from their homes in panic after the quake struck. Up to a dozen people have been injured, some hurt jumping from buildings while others were hit by falling debris, according to news reports quoting officials.  No tsunami warning was issued.

An earthquake on the main Indonesian island of Java left more than 50 dead on September 2, 2009.

The 9.3 Mw Sumatra-Andaman earthquake which caused the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed an estimated quarter of million people in 11 countries, was the second largest earthquake recorded on a seismograph. The earthquake was also characterized by the longest ever duration of faulting lasting about 10 minutes, which made the entire planet to vibrate about 1 cm triggering earthquakes as far north as in Alaska.

FEWW Comments: More Mega-quakes should be expected in this region and other areas in the coming months. FEWW will post a separate [disturbing] forecast later.


  • Date-Time:  Friday, September 18, 2009 at 18:46:08 UTC [Friday, September 18, 2009 at 11:46:08 AM at epicenter]
  • Location: 19.239°N, 108.494°W
  • Depth 10 km (6.2 miles)
  • Distances: 265 km (165 miles) ENE of Socorro Island, Mexico
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)

10-degree Map Centered at 20°N,110°W

EQ Location Map. Source of original map: USGS

GFZ Potsdam – Earthquake Bulletin

Region: Halmahera, Indonesia
Time: 2009-09-18 at 18:34:25.6 UTC
Magnitude: 5.7
Epicenter: 127.16°E 1.80°N
Depth: 110 km

Status: manually revised
gfz2009sidp location map

GFZ Potsdam – Earthquake Bulletin

GFZ Potsdam – Earthquake Bulletin
Region: Mindanao, Philippines
Time: 2009-09-18 11:53:50.2 UTC
Magnitude: 5.5
Epicenter: 124.71°E 6.51°N
Depth: 23 km
Status: manually revised

gfz2009shqk location map
GFZ Potsdam Images
© Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum – GFZ

Related Links:

Posted in Alaska quake, Bali quake, Indian Ocean tsunami, Java Quake, Mega-Quakes, REVILLA GIGEDO ISLANDS, Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, tsunami warning | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

5th Strong Quake Strikes Japan Region

Posted by feww on August 17, 2009

Magnitude 6.5 Quake Strikes SW Ryukyu Islands, Japan

FEWW anticipates more earthquakes measuring 6+ to strike Japan Region in 2009

Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) reported an earthquake measuring 6.5 striking Ishigakijima Kinkai area, SW Ryukyu Islands, Japan region at a depth of 10km on  17 Aug 2009 at 19:11 JST ( 10:11UTC).

Details of the earthquake were as follows:

Earthquake Information
Occurred at: 19:11 JST 17 Aug 2009
Latitude: 23.1N
Longitude: 123.7E
Depth: about 10km
Magnitude: 6.5

Tsunami Warning

JMA issued a tsunami advisory/warning for MIYAKOJIMA and YAEYAMA areas cautioning of sea-level rises of about 0.5 meters. However, there were NO reports of damage, it said

sl 04_06_00_20090817191552
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). Image may be subject to copyright.

USGS reported the event as measuring 6.4Mw [Event ID: us2009kkay] followed by an aftershock of magnitude 5.5 [Event ID: us2009kkaz.]

10-degree Map Centered at 25°N,125°E

125_25  - Location map
EQ Location Map. Source: USGS

Related Links:

Posted in Japan earthquake foecast, MIYAKOJIMA, Taiwan, tokyo quake, tsunami warning, YAEYAMA | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

M 6.4 Quake Strikes SW Ryukkyu Isls, Japan

Posted by feww on August 5, 2009

A Magnitude 6.4  Earthquake Struck Southwestern RyuKyu Islands, Japan

A strong earthquake measuring 6.4 Mw struck southwestern RyuKyu Islands, Japan, Wednesday, August 05, 2009, at 00:18 UTC, USGS reported.

So far, there have been no reports of aftershocks, which might follow later. There has continual seismic activity in the area in the past weeks.

Japan Meterological Agency (JMA) posted no No tsunami warning, however, it advised that slight sea level changes may occur.

Earthquake Details

  • Magnitude: 6.4
  • Date-Time:
    • Wednesday, August 05, 2009 at 00:18:00 UTC
    • Wednesday, August 05, 2009 at 09:18:00 AM at epicenter
  • Location: 24.232°N, 125.007°E

10-degree Map Centered at 25°N,125°E

Earthquake Location Map. USGS

  • Depth: 35 km (21.7 miles) set by location program
  • Region: Southwestern RyuKyu Islands, Japan
  • Distances:
    • 84 km (52 miles) ESE (103°) from Ishigaki-jima, Ryukyu Islands, Japan
    • 322 km (200 miles) E (97°) from Su-ao, Taiwan
    • 343 km (213 miles) SW (232°) from Naha, Okinawa, Japan
    • 1150 km (714 miles) NNE (21°) from MANILA, Philippines
  • Location Uncertainty:  horizontal +/- 5.1 km (3.2 miles); depth fixed by location program
    Parameters NST=159, Nph=159, Dmin=366 km, Rmss=0.9 sec, Gp= 40°,  M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=6
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: us2009jyab

Historic Seismicity Magnitude 7 and Greater Earthquakes Since 1900
[Source: USGS]

neic_jyab_7 -- us2009jyab

Seismic Hazard Map [Source: USGS]

neic_jyab -- us2009jyab
Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green

Related Links:

Posted in Okinawa Islands, Plate Tectonics, Seismic Hazard, Su-ao, tsunami warning | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Powerful 7.8 M Quake Strikes New Zealand Region

Posted by feww on July 15, 2009

Magnitude 7.8 M Earthquake Strikes Off West Coast of South Island, New Zealand

A powerful earthquake measuring magnitude 7.8 occurred off west coast of South Island, New Zealand, about 150 km  WNW of Invercargill, at 09:22:32 UTC, USGS reported.

The mainshock, which occurred at a depth of 35 km, was followed by a large aftershock measuring 5.8 Mw some 20 km WSW of the mainshock about 20 minutes later. [Location, 45.991°S, 166.238°E; depth, 35km; event ID, us2009jcat/USGS]

The aftershock was reported as measuring 6.1 on Richter scale, and at a depth of 5km, by New Zealand’s GNS Science Earthquake Information.

FEWW EarthModel simulations suggest the latest earthquakes may well be a prelude to an extended period of intense, likely catastrophic, seismic and volcanic activities in the New Zealand region. Lots of ‘fireworks’ may follow.  [See links below for forecasts and travel advisories.]

On May 9, 2009, FEWW Moderators issued the following warning to tourists planning to visit New Zealand:

A Warning to Visitors to New Zealand:

Climatological and Geological Warning! The New Zealand region is about to experience significant climatological events and large-scale geological and tectonic activity over an extensive period of time. Would be visitors are advised to stay out of the area for the foreseeable future.

New Zealand’s Alpine Fault – Source: Stuff NZ. Image may be subject to copyright. SEE Fair Use Notice!

What the local experts said

It’s interesting and quite comforting [sic] to note, as our colleague TERRES pointed out earlier, the local experts had assured New Zealanders “there was no cause for worry,”  and that the frequent quakes earlier this year were not “leading up to the ‘big one.'”

10-degree Map Centered at 45°S,165°E

NZSI- us2009jcap
Earthquake Location. Original Map: USGS EHP

Earthquake Details:

  • Magnitude: 7.8
  • Date-Time:
    • Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 09:22:32 UTC
    • Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 08:22:32 PM at epicenter
  • Location: 45.721°S, 166.643°E
  • Depth: 35 km (21.7 miles) set by location program
  • Distances:
    • 150 km (95 miles) WNW of Invercargill, New Zealand
    • 175 km (110 miles) WSW of Queenstown, New Zealand
    • 300 km (185 miles) W of Dunedin, New Zealand
    • 825 km (510 miles) SW of WELLINGTON, New Zealand
  • Location Uncertainty:  horizontal +/- 11.1 km (6.9 miles); depth fixed by location program
  • Parameters: NST= 44, Nph= 44, Dmin=322.8 km, Rmss=1.58 sec, Gp= 54°, M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID:  us2009jcap

Seismic Hazard Map [USGS]

Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green

pop-expo est

Population exposure estimates are NOT a direct estimate of earthquake damage; comparable shaking will result in significantly lower losses in regions with well built structures than in regions with vulnerable structures. [USGS]


On September 30, 2008, FEWW wrote:

Magnitude 7 Earthquake Hits Kermadec Islands

Implication for New Zealand Islands:

  • A substantial increase in the frequency of earthquake striking the twin islands.
  • More earthquakes with magnitude 6 or larger.
  • A marked increased in large explosive volcanic eruptions, especially in the following zones [also includes ‘extinct’ volcanoes]
    • Taupo Volcanic Zone
    • Bombay Hills
    • Auckland volcanic field
    • Mount Taranaki
    • Mt Horrible volcano
    • Mount Taranaki
    • Mount Cargill

Worst Case Condition for New Zealand Islands:

Will a magnitude 9.8 (MW) earthquake centered at 42° 00′ 59″ South, 175° 05′ 07″ East herald the end of New Zealand Islands?

  • Large earthquakes and massive volcanic eruptions could potentially destroy much of New Zealand structures and claim many lives.
  • Earthquake and volcano-triggered waves could also give rise to 40 to 50-meter tsunami that would engulf the coastal areas and low-lying lands throughout New Zealand [could also affect parts of Australia’s eastern seaboard,] compounding the damage.
  • A super/mega colossal Plinian/Ultra-Plinian eruption occurring in New Zealand’s North Island simultaneously [or within a short period of time] with a magnitude 9.8 earthquake off the eastern coast of New Zealand could claim many lives.
  • Probability of occurrence:
    1. Event 1.  A magnitude 9.8 earthquake striking off the eastern coast of New Zealand with (i) the foreshocks ripping through Auckland, Hamilton, Taupo areas, (ii) the mainshock leveling Wellington, Palmerstone North, Marlborough, Nelson and Christchurch, and (iii) the aftershock causing substantial damage as far south as Invercargill: 85%
    2. Event 2. A super/ mega colossal Plinian/Ultra-Plinian eruption in the North Island: 72%  [South Island: 57%]
    3. Event 1 and Event 2 occurring simultaneously, or within a short period of time: 64 %

Related News Links:

Related Links:

Posted in Alpine Fault, Earthquakes, flooding, tasman sea, tsunami warning | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Powerful Quake Cluster Strikes Papua, Indonesia

Posted by feww on January 4, 2009

Powerful Quake Cluster Strikes Papua Heralding a New Period of Intense Global Seismicity

A powerful magnitude 7.6 mainshock followed by at least 19 aftershocks measuring 5 to 7.4 Mw struck near the north coast of Papua, Indonesia.

This Earthquake:


Map of Indonesia                                                                                                        Source: USGS

Magnitude: 7.6


  • Saturday, January 03, 2009 at 19:43:54 UTC
  • Sunday, January 04, 2009 at 04:43:54 AM at epicenter

Location: 0.510°S, 132.783°E
Depth: 35 km (21.7 miles) set by location program

  • 150 km (95 miles) WNW of Manokwari, Papua, Indonesia
  • 170 km (105 miles) ENE of Sorong, Papua, Indonesia
  • 1335 km (830 miles) N of DARWIN, Northern Territory, Australia
  • 2955 km (1830 miles) E of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia

Location Uncertainty:  horizontal +/- 12.1 km (7.5 miles); depth fixed by location program
Event ID us2009bjbn

Shakemap  and MMI

According to USGS: “Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist. A magnitude 7.5 earthquake and tsunami 208 km Northeast of this one struck Indonesia on October 10, 2002 (UTC), with estimated population exposures of 6,000 at intensity IX or greater and 7,000 at intensity VIII, resulting in an estimated 8 fatalities. On September 12, 1979 (UTC), a magnitude 7.5 earthquake and tsunami 378 km Northeast of this one struck Indonesia, with estimated population exposures of 10,000 at intensity IX or greater and 27,000 at intensity VIII, resulting in an estimated 15 fatalities. Recent earthquakes in this area have caused, tsunamis, landslides and liquefaction that may have contributed to losses.”

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

Tectonic Summary [USGS]

“The magnitude 7.6 Papua, Indonesia earthquake of January 3, 2009, 19:43 UTC, occurred as a result of thrust faulting on a plate-boundary along the northwest coast of the island of New Guinea. Eastern Indonesia is characterized by complex tectonics in which motions of numerous small plates are accommodating large-scale convergence between the Australia, Pacific, and Eurasia plates. In broad-scale plate-tectonic models that do not subdivide continent sized plates into smaller plates, the location of today’s earthquake would be on the boundary of the Pacific and Australia plates. The Pacific plate (located north and northeast of the epicenter) is moving southwest with respect to the Australia plate (located south of the epicenter) with a velocity of about 112 mm/year at the epicenter of the earthquake, and the focal-mechanism of today’s earthquake is broadly consistent with Pacific plate lithosphere being subducted beneath Australia plate lithosphere. The subduction zone along the northwest coast of New Guinea is characterized by an offshore oceanic trench, the New Guinea trench, but teleseismically recorded earthquake hypocenters do not show a well-developed inclined seismic zone (a Wadati-Benioff zone) dipping south-southwest from the trench.

“The earthquake of January 3, 2009, 19:43 UTC, occurred about 470 km west of the magnitude 8.2 earthquake of February 17, 1996. The 1996 earthquake produced a tsunami that was destructive on the island of Biak. At least 108 people were killed by the 1996 earthquake and associated tsunami.” USGS

Posted in DARWIN, Global Seismicity, Northern Territory, Sorong, tsunami warning | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »