The tsunami warning has now been lifted.
An earthquake has struck the French territory of New Caledonia on Thursday. Initial reports said that the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.6 however, that was later updated to a massive magnitude of 7.2.
The United States Geological Survey claimed that at the time the earthquake struck, a tsunami warning was triggered for some regions of the pacific islands but the officials later confirmed that all such warnings have now been lifted.
Here is everything we know about the incident so far:
Details of the Earthquake
According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake struck around 4:44 p.m. local time or 05:44 GMT and took place at 279 km or 173 miles southeast of Tadine, New Caledonia on Thursday. The earthquake reportedly took place at a depth of 10 kilometers or 6.2 miles below surface level.
The initial magnitudes recorded were first 6.6, which was later updated to 6.8. But the finalized magnitude was reported to be around 7.2. After the earthquake struck, the United States Weather Service issued a warning in the affected regions saying that waves below 0.3 meters over the tide level could be expected to hit the coasts of Vanuatu, Fiji, and New Caledonia.
USGS tweeted the details of the earthquake on Twitter that said: “Notable quake, preliminary info: M 7.2 – 280 km ESE of Tadine, New Caledonia”.
Notable quake, preliminary info: M 7.2 – 280 km ESE of Tadine, New Caledonia https://t.co/EMkWNpnTWF
— USGS Earthquakes (@USGS_Quakes) March 31, 2022
However, the warning was later on stopped and the officials claimed that the threat has passed. According to an AFP journalist, the earthquake has not caused any damage to New Caledonia. Officials asked the population of New Caledonia to stay vigilant and said in a report: “Given its location, depth, and magnitude, there is no risk of tsunami in New Caledonia”.
Because of the high rates of convergence between the plates of Australia and the Pacific Ocean, the eastern margin of the plate of Australia has become one of the most seismically active areas of the world. The Australia-Pacific plate boundary of a massive length of 3000 km extends from the southern region of Macquarie Island to the southern area of Kermadec Island.
Because of its geographic position, there are plenty of earthquakes with a magnitude of more than 7.0 in the regions of New Caledonia. The earthquakes lead to damage spreading to a radius of 100 kilometers every time. The special tectonic condition of the country leads to more earthquakes than average.
The strongest earthquake to ever hit New Caledonia occurred on 16th May 1995 in Noumea and Vanuatu which had a magnitude of 7.7 on the Richter Scale. The earthquake caused a tsunami that led to a large amount of destruction and victims.
It is advised to follow proper guidelines when you are in a region affected by an earthquake and use disaster management techniques.