Earthquakes Devastate Ecuador & Japan and Shake Tonga

17 Apr 2016 0

COASTALWATCH | Latest News

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck 258 km from ‘Ohonua, Eua, Tonga at 7.31pm on the evening of Sunday 17 April 2016.

Just 5,200km from Australia, Tonga is among the islands of the Pacific that lie in the "most seismically active areas in the world, due to the convergence between the Australian and Pacific plates" said the US Geological Survey. 

No strangers to earthquakes in the Pacific region, Earthquake Track says there have been 310 quakes recorded over 1.5 in magnitude over the last year alone. More recently there have been six earthquakes surrounding Tonga in the last month measuring between 4.4 and 5.2 in magnitude, making this latest one the most significant in intensity recorded of late. To understand more about magnitude readings and their effects click here

The Tonga quake comes just hours after Japan's Kyushu region was struck by twin earthquake tragedies. The first measuring 6.2 on Friday night is reported to have killed nine people and the second that hit on Saturday has succeeded the death toll by 32 with hundreds left injured. Kumamoto was the most heavily affected area with buildings, bridges and crucial city infrastructure crumbling. Aftershocks are causing significant delays in the rescue operation while thousands remain evacuated from the area.

The NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre does not currently have any warnings issued for the region.

In developing news the death toll from an additional earthquake that measured a massive 7.8 in Ecuador has risen to 238 and over a thousand people injured. The catastrophic event took place on Saturday and six provinces have been declared a state of emergency; Guayas, Manabi, Santo Domingo, Los Rios, Esmeraldas and Galapagos. The NOAA initially issued a tsunami warning but says the initial threat has now passed. 

Tags: topnews , earthquake , tonga , ecudor , japan (create Alert from these tags)

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