May 10, 2011 – LOYALTY ISLANDS – A magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck 133 kilometres south-west off the Pacific island of Vanuatu near Loyalty Islands, the US Geological Survey (USGS) says. The quake was later downgraded to a 6.8 by the USGS. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre says “no destructive widespread tsunami threat exists based on historical earthquake and tsunami data.” The quake was 26 kilometres deep and struck 135 km from Isangel in Vanuatu and 147 km from the Loyalty islands, part of the French territory of New Caledonia. “Based on all of the local analytical data, a tsunami is not expected within Vanuatu,” an official for the Vanuatu Meteorological Services told Reuters by telephone from the capital, Port Vila. Seven aftershocks struck the Loyalty Islands in quick succession. Most were of the 5.0+ magnitude range. A receptionist at a hotel in Ouvea in the Loyalty Islands said there was no immediate sign of damage. “It was not a particularly strong tremor but we definitely felt it. There was no breakage, no damage,” the receptionist at the Hotel Paradis d’Ouvea said. –ABC.Net
Loyalty Islands– There has been one large quake and 18 moderate 5.0+ quakes to strike the globe during a 24 hour period and the seismic restlessness looks like it’s far from being settled. Seismograms across the globe are recording the unusual degree of tectonic plate agitation.