The largest in a series of earthquakes has struck the Tadine, New Caledonia region on Sunday November 19, 2017. The earthquake triggered a minor tsunami. (see video below)
This earthquake and the others was felt in the cruise ports of Nouméa, New Caledonia on Grande Terre Island and Port Vila, Vanuatu.
In March 2015, category 5 cyclone Pam hit the Vanuatu islands, flattening them. Carnival Cruise Lines sent the first cruise ship to the island, bringing emergency aid.
New Caledonia is a French territory comprising dozens of islands in the South Pacific. It’s known for its palm-lined beaches and marine-life-rich lagoon, which, at 24,000-sq.-km, is among the world’s largest. A massive barrier reef surrounds the main island, Grand Terre, a major scuba-diving destination. The capital, Nouméa is a very popular cruise port, home to French-influenced restaurants and luxury boutiques selling Parisian fashions.
The November 19, 2017 earthquake is the seventh M 6+ earthquake to occur in this region over the past three weeks, and is part of an intense sequence of events that began on Halloween, Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 with a M 6.8 interplate thrust faulting earthquake just to the east of the South New Hebrides Trench and about 70 km to the southeast of the November 19, 2017 earthquake. Over this time period, about 135 M 4+ earthquakes have been recorded in this region by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), most to the west of the plate boundary, in the outer rise.
The Loyalty Islands region is very active seismically, and the region within 250 km of the November 19, 2017 earthquake has hosted 21 other M 7+ earthquakes over the preceding century. The largest was a M 8.1 earthquake in September 1920, which was located about 140 km to the north of today’s event, just to the east of the oceanic trench. 4 of these M 7+ earthquakes have occurred to the west of the oceanic trench, including a M 7.7 earthquake in May 1995, 225 km to the southeast, and a M 7.1 earthquake in January 2004, 145 km to the southeast.
- Tadine, New Caledonia 86.3 km (53.6 mi) ENE – Population: 7,492
- Wé, New Caledonia 154.4 km (95.9 mi) ESE – Population: 10,375
- Mont-Dore, New Caledonia 241.8 km (150.3 mi) ENE- Population: 24,680
- Dumbéa, New Caledonia 248.0 km (154.1 mi) ENE – Population: 19,346
- Nouméa, New Caledonia 252.7 km (157.0 mi) ENE – Population: 93,060
Video; Tsunami waves in New Caledonia,Vanuatu,Australia after 7.0 Earthquake