Third Quake in 24 Hours Off Australia’s Coast Jolts Solomon Islands

Three earthquakes have been registered off the coast of Australia in the last twenty-four hours, with the most recent one shaking the Solomon Islands with a magnitude of 5.6.

The German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), which is regarded as one of the primary international agencies tracking seismic activity globally, detected a magnitude 5.4 earthquake in Arawa, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. 

On Monday, May 27, 2024, at 12:51 pm local time, an earthquake with a shallow depth of 10 km under the epicenter occurred at around midday.

In a subsequent study, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) upgraded the earthquake’s magnitude to 5.5.

According to early seismic data, many individuals in the vicinity of the epicenter likely felt the earthquake. Outside of things tumbling off shelves, shattered windows, etc., it shouldn’t have done any damage.

Near the epicenter, at a distance of 74 km, the town of Panguna (population 2,900) and the neighboring towns of Arawa (population 40,300) and Kieta (population 3,600) may have felt weak shaking.

Australia is not at risk of a tsunami, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

According to the USGS, the earthquake occurred at a depth of 111 kilometers, with the epicenter located about 70 kilometers northwest of Foa Island.

Authorities in Tonga issued a dire warning, telling citizens to head inland, to higher ground, or above the second level of a concrete or steel building until the danger has passed.

The Tongan Meteorological Service said that a powerful earthquake was felt throughout Tonga after it happened near the country.

It has been confirmed that the island’s tsunami sirens were activated; however, the alert was canceled an hour later.

Around 9:30 a.m. local time on Sunday, a tremor measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale shook Vanuatu as well.

According to the government-run Geoscience Australia webpage, the earthquake happened at a depth of 32 kilometers north of Port Villa, the capital, at around 9.23 am local time.

Many of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions take place along the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire,’ an arc of seismic faults that encircles the ocean. The islands are located on this ring.