Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Web Desk

6.2 magnitude earthquake hits New Zealand’s Auckland Islands

Web Desk
A representational image of a Richter Scale can be seen in this picture. — Reuters/File
A representational image of a Richter Scale can be seen in this picture. — Reuters/File

An earthquake of 6.2 magnitude jolts New Zealand’s Auckland Islands at 2.21pm Wednesday afternoon, according to US Geological Survey, however, there were no reports of damages.

New Zealand's GeoNet monitoring agency said the epicentre was 33 kilometres (21 miles) below the earth's surface, with no immediate tsunami warnings.

A city council official from Invercargill — the nearest sizable city — said there had been no reports of the earthquake being felt there or damage to infrastructure.

Earlier in May, an earthquake of magnitude 7.7 struck southeast of Loyalty Islands in New Caledonia, triggering a tsunami warning.

The earthquake in the Pacific occurred southwest of Fiji, east of Australia and north of New Zealand.

Last month, USGS reported that an earthquake measuring 7.1 hit the Kermadec Islands region near the country.

A magnitude 7.2 quake hit the trench — Puysegur Trench, a plate boundary where the Australian plate dives below the Pacific plate — itself in November 2004. 

Before a month of the 7.2 jolts, an 8.1 quake near the trench caused shaking felt as far as Tasmania.

GeoNet duty seismologist Dr Jonathan Hanson said we could be reasonably confident that Wednesday's earthquake was related to subduction zone processes in the area.

"The fact that we see quite a lot of events located in a really similar area reinforces that it’s likely to be related to some ongoing processes there."

According to the New Zealand Herald, in the past 20 years, scientists have located about 100 events in the region.

"The actual amount is likely to be much higher than that, but because we’re far away from our instruments, it’s tough to get a full feeling for how active the seismicity is down there — other than we need an event to be above magnitude five, to be relatively confident in it."