Earthquakes rock Pacific nations

2013-02-02 13:05
Plot of typical eartquake. (File)

Plot of typical eartquake. (File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Taipei - Earthquakes have struck off Taiwan and the Solomon Islands, but seismologists ruled out the possibility of a tsunami.

A 5.5-magnitude earthquake struck off eastern Taiwan on Saturday, the island's Seismology Centre said, but there were no immediate reports of any damage or casualties.

The tremor, which was also felt in the capital Taipei in the north, struck at 11:39 (03:39 GMT), 46.9km southeast of Hualien on the east coast, at a depth of 16.9km under the sea, the centre said.

Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes.

In September 1999, a 7.6-magnitude tremor killed around 2 400 people in the deadliest natural disaster in the island's recent history.

A 6.6-magnitude quake also hit off the Solomon Islands on Saturday, Australian seismologists said, but there were no reports of damage and a tsunami threat was also ruled out.


The quake struck near the Santa Cruz islands about 623km from the capital Honiara and was followed by a series of smaller aftershocks, according to Geoscience Australia.

The US Geological Survey initially measured the quake at 6.7-magnitude but later revised it down to 6.3 at a depth of 19km.

"We've got it at 6.6," Geoscience Australia seismologist Jonathan Bathgate said, adding that the quake was "very unlikely" to have generated a tsunami.

A separate bulletin from the the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre also ruled out the threat of a Pacific-wide destructive tsunami.

The Solomon Islands are part of the "Ring of Fire", a zone of tectonic activity around the Pacific Ocean that is subject to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

In 2007 a tsunami following an 8.1-magnitude earthquake killed at least 52 people in the Solomons and left thousands homeless.

Bathgate said the latest tremors follow two 6.1-magnitude quakes and one 6.4-magnitude in the same area over the past few days.

"There's been four quakes over six (magnitude) in the last three days in that area. It doesn't necessarily indicate that there's anything bigger to come. There could be some more to come or there could be nothing. We just don't know."

Read more on:    earthquakes

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Meet instagram star, Pumpkin the racoon

With 300 000 followers and growing Pumpkin is winning over the internet!



The cats that cost R35 000
Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy
13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Plant some seeds. Your innovative mind is on fire and your ingenious ideas may just be the seeds for future projects. You may more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.