Magnitude 7.2 earthquake strikes south-west of Fiji

A preliminary 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the coat of Fiji

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Staff at Fiji's Red Cross in Suva have been evacuated (Image Source: CORINNE AMBLER IFRC/TWITTER)
Staff at Fiji's Red Cross in Suva have been evacuated (Image Source: CORINNE AMBLER IFRC/TWITTER)
  • A preliminary 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the coat of Fiji
  • A tsunami warning was issued for nearby areas in the Pacific
  • This follows a series of quakes that have hit the wide region on the southern hemisphere

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck 284 kilometres off the coast of Fiji earlier this morning, at 8.52am (AEDT), 11am local time, at a depth of 15 kilometres. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) has issued a tsunami threat message for parts of the Pacific within a 300 kilometres radius from the epicentre, however they said the quake might not have been strong enough to trigger a tsunami.

“Based on earthquake information and historic tsunami records, the earthquake was not sufficient to generate a tsunami,” said the PTWC in a statement release.

As a consequence, there is no threat to Australia.

However, at 1.19am local time, a 3.9-magnitude earthquake hit Appin, a town in the south of NSW, with tremors felt by dozens of households as far away as Wollongong and Sydney. According to Geoscience Australia, the quake hasn’t caused any damage, though some residents have reported waking up to the sound of objects being knocked off shelves and rattling windows.

One plausible explanation is the shallow depth of the quake that might have caused it to be felt up to 50 kilometres away, as stated by the seismology centre that monitors seismic activity in Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland.

These events follow a series of earthquakes that in recent days have struck other parts of the region, including New Zealand and Indonesia.

A 5.5-magnitude quake rocked the region surrounding Kaikoura, the same area that was hit by the more powerful and disastrous 7.8-magnitude wake last November. Luckily, there were no reported deaths.

Further north, a 6.2-magnitude and 72 kilometres deep earthquake hit eastern Indonesia last week. No casualties or damage were reported, though the tremors were felt even on the island of Bali, commonly crowded with tourist.