October 22, 2011 – A Powerful Earthquake Struck the Kermadec Islands: A major earthquake struck near the Kermadec Islands, in the South Pacific Ocean, early on Saturday morning. The 7.6 magnitude earthquake occurred at 5:57AM local time, and was centered 180 kilometers (112 miles) east of Raoul Island, which is part of the Kermadec Islands. It struck at a depth of 40 kilometers (25 miles).
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) issued the following bulletin, relative to this earthquake: “Sea level satellite readings indicate a small tsunami was generated. The boat cove, at Raoul Island, can expect 0.3 feet sea level increases at intervals of 6 minutes. Fishing Rock, at Raoul Island, can expect 0.6 feet sea level increases at 8 minute intervals. Time intervals are from one wave to the next. For those areas where no tsunamis are observed, local authorities can assume the threat has passed. Danger to boats and coastal structures can continue for several hours, due to the continuing sea level changes and rapid currents. Local geographic conditions can cause a wide variation in tsunami wave action.”
The Kermadec Islands are a subtropical island arc in the South Pacific Ocean 800 to 1,000 kilometers (500 to 620 miles) northeast of New Zealand’s North Island, and a similar distance southwest of Tonga. They contain a total land area of 33 kilometers (21 square miles). The islands are part of New Zealand, and are uninhabited, except for the permanently manned Raoul Island weather Station, the northernmost outpost of New Zealand.
The quake was 112 miles east of Raoul Island, Kermadec Islands, New Zealand; 541 miles south of Nuku’alofa, Tonga; and 1,851 miles WSW of Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia (see map).
The Master of Disaster