In a rare twist of events, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake has struck the area Northeast of Fiji, near Tonga.
After a period of relative silence at the far edge of the West Pacific, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake has struck Tonga following a flurry of deep activity.
[Tonga / Vanuatu has been absent any large shallow earthquake activity for several weeks (into a few months)]
This earthquake in Tonga is a “near hit” on the earthquake forecast issued for the area.
We were watching near the Soloman Islands (East of Papua New Guinea) for shallow larger mid-6.0M activity. Now a shallow M6.3 has indeed struck East of Papua New Guinea, however, it occurred in Tonga, not the Soloman Islands.
This is close enough to be considered a regional forecast hit in the time frame named, with the magnitude expected.
Why was this mid-6.0M earthquake expected to occur in the Central West Pacific this week?
See the earthquake forecast from 2 days ago, calling for the shallow movement to occur here:
Information on this 6.3 magnitude from the USGS:
|Magnitude / uncertainty||6.3 mwp± 0.0|
|Location / uncertainty||15.595°S 172.997°W± 7.6 km|
|Depth / uncertainty||28.6 km± 4.9|
|Origin Time||2015-06-12 11:07:04.970 UTC|
|Number of Stations||–|
|Number of Phases||102|
|Minimum Distance||228.09 km (2.05°)|
|Travel Time Residual||1.28 sec|
|FE Region||Samoa Islands region (169)|