UPDATED--Major earthquake at Santa Cruz Islands

Update below.

Last Saturday, three days ago, I'd mentioned that the Ring of Fire earthquakes were increasing. I listed the ten major quakes that had been happening and noted that the majority of them occurred at the Santa Cruz Islands, east of Australia.

This evening an 8.0 magnitude quake occurred there and two 6.4 aftershocks. (Some scientists are saying they were foreshocks).  A tsunami watch is up for Australia, New Zealand, and American Samoa. A three foot tsunami was measured at Solomon Island. Stay tuned for more reports of tsunami or damage/casualties. This is the first quake over 8.0 magnitude since 4/11/12 when M8.2 occurred off Sumatra.

The Solomon Islands 8.0 earthquake last night generated a small but deadly tsunami. Solomons officials reported two 4-foot, 11-inch waves hitting the western coast of Santa Cruz Island. According to George Herming, a spokesman for the prime minister, 70 to 80 homes and properties were damaged.

A tsunami of 3 feet was measured in Lata wharf, The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported. Smaller waves hit Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Some villages have been flattened and at least 4 people are dead. Aftershocks in the 5.5 plus range continue.


  1. Will you be updating your earthquake spreadsheet to include 2013?

    I really appreciate the work you put into your blog and answering emails!!

    1. Hi Brian,

      Yes, I'll update the spreadsheet but not for a while yet. Meantime, the USGS has their table of "annual averages" and we can keep checking to compare against that. The annual average number of 8.0+ quakes per year is one, and so far we have already had one. The 6.0 magnitude quakes have continued apace, with 15 so far since January 1, or the last 5 weeks. That averages out to a pace of 3 M6.0+ quakes per week, every week. 134 per year is average in that magnitude. Here is the USGS facts and statistics page


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