No tsunami alert after strong 6.8 quake in Vanuatu Islands

Rappler.com
The quake, which struck at a depth of more than 200km, did not generate a tsunami

MANILA, Philippines (Updated) – There is no tsunami threat to the Philippines following the 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the South Pacific Island of Vanuatu Saturday, December 22, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said in its bulletin.

“No destructive Pacific-wide threat exists based on the historical and tsunami data. However, earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coast located within a hundred kilometers of the epicenter,” PHIVOLCS’ bulletin read. 

“PHIVOLCS Tsunami ALERT Level is 0. This is for information purposes only and there is no tsunami threat to the Philippines from this earthquake,” it added. 

The 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck at a depth of more than 200 kilometres at around 9:30am (2230 GMT Friday) some 130 kilometres north of Santo, the US Geological Survey said.

David Jepsen, a seismologist with Geoscience Australia — which measured the quake at 6.6 magnitude — told Agence France-Presse that the quake was “quite deep” and therefore did not generate a tsunami. 

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also said a destructive tsunami was not generated, based on the earthquake and historical tsunami data.

Vanuatu lies on the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire”, a zone of frequent seismic activity caused by friction between shifting tectonic plates.

It has been rocked by several large quakes in recent years, averaging about three magnitude 7.0 or above incidents every year without any major damage. – Rappler.com with reports from Agence France-Presse