Strong earthquakes in Indian and Pacific Oceans

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Friday, January 23, 2009

A 6.0 quake occurred between the islands of New Britain and New Guinea
Image: USGS.

Yesterday an earthquake of magnitude 6.2 occurred in Indonesia's Banda Sea, and two quakes of similar strengths took place in the Pacific Ocean. As of 9 am today, no damage has been reported. These are the strongest earthquakes since Monday.

The Indonesian earthquake was in the sparse island group of Maluku, north of Australia, at 2016 UTC Thursday (5.46 am Friday, Darwin time). The Maluku Islands are in the earthquake-prone Banda Sea between New Guinea and Sulawesi. The Indonesian quake was felt in Darwin, northern Australia, 600 km (400 miles) south of the epicentre.

The Pacific quakes took place earlier in the day. The first struck at 1340 UTC in Papua New Guinea, close to the populous island of New Britain, with a magnitude of 6.0. The other was at 1708 UTC, 110 km (70 miles) from the remote Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, with a magnitude 6.3.

As recently as January 5, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake on the island of New Guinea (eastern Indonesia) killed one person and caused many serious injuries. Indonesia began to operate a tsunami early warning system in November, and no warnings were issued following yesterday's earthquakes.


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