Massive earthquake with moderate Tsunami alert in New Caledonia

Last update: May 10, 2011 at 9:44 am by By

UPDATE May 10 – 09:43 Another important and massive earthquake has occurred in nearly the same position with a M7.1. Click here for more details.

UPDATE January 14 – 02:59 An important and massive earthquake is allways followed by aftershocks. Here are the values of the moderate to very strong shocks since the mainshock at 3:16 AM local time :
5.4, 5.4, 5.2, 5.9, 5.2, 5.3, 5.2, 5.1, 5.0 and 5.3!

UPDATE January 14 – 01:10 New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands were very lucky today that there were no Tsunami waves as a tropical storm is also passing the islands. Flights have been diverted and an Orange storm alert has been called.

UPDATE January 14 – 00:53 Tsunami alert has been called on the Loyalty Islands when the earthquake occurred, also in Lifou the provinces capital. It was called off again when the magnitude recalculations and the tsunami detection systems did not reached the minimum alert levels.
Loyalty Islands consist of 3 islands, Ouvea, Lifou (main island) and Maré.

UPDATE 18:33 : As Magnitudes are recalculated after the earthquake occurs (can be fundamentally up or down) impact prediction is a very difficult task. In the magnitude 7 or 8 range, every 0.1 is extremely important for potential damage calculation. As GDACS has based his tsunami wave prediction on a magnitude of 7.3 and as the magnitude (only!) seems to be 7.0, wave calculation could have been overestimated.

UPDATE 18:20 : As far as we can report right now, NO damage has been inflicted on the Loyalty Islands NOR has their been a tsunami on these islands. The adminstration on the Overseas Province of France is very well organized and the information coming from New Caledonia is not only fast but also very thrustworthy.

UPDATE 18:05 : Magnitude of the earthquake lowered by USGS to M 7.0

UPDATE 17:57 : Following le “haut-commisomessariat de la République”, the leading disaster agency in New Caledonia the Loyalty Islands have NO tsunami risk.
Earthquake-Report.com uses a lot of sources for it’s reporting. This update comes from the islands at risk.
GDACS may have been wrong this time, but GDACS is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for present and future earthquake and tsunami reporting. Their theoretical predictions on the impact of earthquakes are based on historical earthquakes, terrain, magnitude, etc. GDACS kas been created by the European Union after the extremely destructive tsunami in Banda Aceh in 2004

UPDATE 17:42 : The location (as predicted by GDACS) which has a 1.2 meter tsunami risk (the highest calculated on this island) is Hnadid (eastern part of the Maré island).
Loyalty Islands Province has a total population of 17,436.

UPDATE 17:33 : More powerful aftershocks are following. Felt experience reports from Noumea (New Caledonia) are reporting a weak shaking (normal because of the distance to the epicenter and the shallow depth of the hypocenter)

UPDATE 17:23 : first very strong aftershock of M 5.8 The earthquake impact of the islands (shaking) is limited to a (theoretical) MMI value of VI.
The risk on the population of the islands at risk is ONLY the tsunami risk.

A massive and shallow earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 occurred in the night of January 14 (local time) in the sea in between the Loyalty Islands and New Caledonia.
NOAA has denied the risk on a widespread tsunami in the Pacific Ocean but GDACS has issued a ORANGE tsinami alert for the Loyalty islands and some of the Vanuatu islands with tsunami waves up to 1,2 meter.
The earthquake occurred at 3 AM local time which has the advantage that almost nobody will be on the beaches  of the islands at risk.
The tsunami will generate limited waves on New Caledonia itself, but will have most impact on the Loyalty Islands (province of New Caledonia) and Vanuatu.

This earthquake occurred in the same area as the also massive Vanuatu earthquake from December 26.

GDACS Tsunami risk calculation New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 7.3
UTC time : Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 16:16:41 UTC
Local time at epicenter : January 14, 2011 at 03:16:41 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 4,6 km
Quake-maps.com satellite map + I Did Feel It form
Geo-location(s) :
125 km (80 miles) NNE of Tadine, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place
USGS Shaking map
USGS historic earthquakes map
USGS impact on population map
USGS Seismic hazard map
LIVE SEISMOGRAM (nearest Seismograph station)
GDACS ORANGE Earthquake Alert (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System)
GDACS ORANGE Tsunami alert

NOAA Tsunami report

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