Solomons earthquake tests international warning system

Feb 06, 2013
German crew members install ocean bottom Seismometers which formed part of a tsunami early warning system in the Indian ocean. Credit: AAP/Mast Irham

A magnitude 8 earthquake that struck today off the Solomon Islands is not a risk to Australia, but has destroyed three villages in the region and resulted in a tsunami with early reports of some deaths.

"The earthquake was originally reported by the United States Geological Survey to be about 5.8 km deep which made me think oh no, here we go again, this will be a bad one," said Professor James Goff, director of the Tsunami and Natural Hazards Research Group at the University of .

"But subsequent bulletins from the placed it at 33 km deep which at the very least reduces the likelihood of the tsunami being too bad."

It remains to be seen how regionally significant this tsunami has been, and how bad the damage was from the earthquake, Professor Goff said.

"Close to the source we hear of villages being destroyed, but equally stories are emerging of people evacuating to higher ground after the earthquake and that is indeed wonderfully encouraging."

The international worked well in this case said Tom Worthington, adjunct senior lecturer at the Research School of Computer Science at Australian National University.

However he said there were limitations to the local warning which could be given, due to a limited number of tsunami sensors in the Pacific and limited communications in some countries.

"The Pacific Warning Centre issued an 'Expanding Regional Warning – Initial' 12:18pm Canberra time. This was then relayed around the Pacific via various electronic means, including the Internet. I received the warning shortly afterwards by SMS to my phone," Mr Worthington said.

Professor Goff said much work needed to be done to improve our understanding of such events in the for the safety of both local and regional communities.

seeking consular assistance should call +61 2 6261 3305 from outside Australia or 1300 555 135 from within Australia.

Reporting with AusSMC.

Explore further: Clean air: Fewer sources for self-cleaning

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Tsunami not yet detected: expert

Apr 02, 2007

Although the Bureau of Metereology had issued a tsunami warning, at this stage a tsunami had not yet been detected, a University of Queensland geophysicist said this morning.

Major Pacific earthquake prompts tsunami warning

Mar 20, 2009

A major 7.9-magnitude earthquake has shaken the South Pacific nation of Tonga and sending people in low lying areas of Fiji fleeing for higher ground after a tsunami warning, according to officials.

Strong earthquake hits off El Salvador coast

Aug 27, 2012

(AP)—A strong magnitude-7.4 earthquake struck off the coast of El Salvador and a tsunami warning was issued but there were no immediate reports of damages or injuries, authorities said early Monday.

Nine dead in Indonesian earthquake

Sep 12, 2007

Officials reported at least nine people were killed and more than 100 injured after a strong earthquake and an aftershock struck the Indian Ocean Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Clean air: Fewer sources for self-cleaning

7 hours ago

Up to now, HONO, also known as nitrous acid, was considered one of the most important sources of hydroxyl radicals (OH), which are regarded as the detergent of the atmosphere, allowing the air to clean itself. ...

There's something ancient in the icebox

7 hours ago

Glaciers are commonly thought to work like a belt sander. As they move over the land they scrape off everything—vegetation, soil, and even the top layer of bedrock. So scientists were greatly surprised ...

Image: Grand Canyon geology lessons on view

14 hours ago

The Grand Canyon in northern Arizona is a favorite for astronauts shooting photos from the International Space Station, as well as one of the best-known tourist attractions in the world. The steep walls of ...

First radar vision for Copernicus

15 hours ago

Launched on 3 April, ESA's Sentinel-1A satellite has already delivered its first radar images of Earth. They offer a tantalising glimpse of the kind of operational imagery that this new mission will provide ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

There's something ancient in the icebox

Glaciers are commonly thought to work like a belt sander. As they move over the land they scrape off everything—vegetation, soil, and even the top layer of bedrock. So scientists were greatly surprised ...

Clean air: Fewer sources for self-cleaning

Up to now, HONO, also known as nitrous acid, was considered one of the most important sources of hydroxyl radicals (OH), which are regarded as the detergent of the atmosphere, allowing the air to clean itself. ...

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...