Special Reports
Regional Location:

Preliminary Magnitude:

Greenwich Mean Date:
Greenwich Mean Time:
Focal Depth:

M 7.5 (NEIC)

620 km

M 7.6 (NEIC)

673 km

Two very strong earthquakes rock the South Pacific

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August 19, 2002

Two earthquakes measuring M 7.5 (NEIC) and M 7.6 (NEIC) rocked the fiji Islands region of the Pacific Ocean, but they occurred at more than 500 km below the surface and it is unlikely they caused any damage on the surface.

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According to the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) the first earthquake measured M 7.5 and struck at 11:01:01 UTC on August 19, 280 miles (450 km) west of Nuku'alofa, Tonga and an equal distance south-southeast of Suva, Fiji in a remote region of the South Pacific Ocean. The focal point was at 620 km below the surface.

The second temblor registered M 7.6 and struck about eight minutes later about 110 miles further south and at a depth of 673 km.

Both quakes triggered along the deepest portions of the Tonga-Kermadec Islands suduction zone where the Pacific tectonic plate is being forced under the Australian plate.

Felt Reports
We have on report that the quakes were felt as far away as Papatoetoe, Auckland, New Zealand, where they lightly shook tables and hanging objects for about 30 seconds.

Additional information links

Mainstream media news reports:
  • There have been no reports at this time. Check the EQNews and its archive for earlier reports.
Report update: 8:24:21 AM, Monday, August 19, 2002

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