March 3, 2012 – A 6.9 Magnitude Earthquake Struck near the Loyalty Islands less than two hour ago: The powerful quake was 111 miles west of Lle Hunter, Loyalty Islands (LI), New Caledonia (NC); 161 milesESE of Tadine, LI, NC; 247 miles east of Novmea, NC; and 1,047 miles NNW of Auckland, New Zealand.
The map below reflects The Loyalty Islands off the north coast of New Caledonia:
It was 11:19PM at the epicenter, 7:19AM in New York, 6:19AM in Chicago, 5:19AM in Denver and 4:19AM in Los Angeles. The strong tremor occurred at a depth of 15 kilometers (9 miles).
This area of the South Pacific Ocean is home to many of the powerful earthquakes of the world. The southwest Pacific Ocean is a major juncture of the “Ring of Fire” tectonic plate, the Philippines plate and the Java Trench.
The Loyalty Islands are an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, which is part of the French Territory of New Caledonia whose mainland is only 100 kilometers (62 miles) southwest (see map).
The beauty of The Loyalty Islands (picture below) can be punctured with powerful earthquakes from time to time:
The NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued the following statement, “NO DESTRUCTIVE WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI THREAT EXISTS BASED ON HISTORICAL EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI DATA. HOWEVER – EARTHQUAKES OF THIS SIZE SOMETIMES GENERATE LOCAL TSUNAMIS THAT CAN BE DESTRUCTIVE ALONG COASTS LOCATED WITHIN A HUNDRED KILOMETERS OF THE EARTHQUAKE EPICENTER. AUTHORITIES IN THE REGION OF THE EPICENTER SHOULD BE AWARE OF THIS POSSIBILITY AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION.”
Blow is a map from the USGS with the main shock marked and recent aftershocks. Note the scale in the lower left showing tremor depth and magnitude size:
Since New Caledonia is within 100 kilometers of the epicenter, precautions should be taken along the north coast of the Island. (Credits: NOAA, USGS, PTWC, Wikipedia, Narrative – PTWC, USGS, W. G. Foster).
The Master of Disasters