12/18/2015 — Earthquake forecast area hit — Large M6.2 strikes West Pacific silent area / Vanuatu

A noteworthy M6.2 earthquake (and subsequent swarm) has struck the West Pacific inside the warned “silent area” near Vanuatu.

This region had several hours warning time to prepare for movement to strike (see the warning below).

vanuatu earthquake dec 18 2015 forecast hit


The earthquake forecast issued hours prior to this event specifically called for this silent area to show new movement in the nearterm , calling for 1-2 magnitudes HIGHER movement than the deep activity which struck over the past 48 hours leading up to this large M6.2 event.

The deep earthquake was in the upper M4.5 range, meaning the shallower larger earthquake should be at least M6.0 in intensity.  Now the M6.2 has struck the warned area.

See the warning issued hours before the event here:


Information on this new swarm of earthquakes from the USGS:

Magnitude 6.2 mwp
Location/uncertainty 18.399°S 169.400°E± 6.3 km
Depth/uncertainty 10.0 km± 1.9
Origin Time
Number of Stations
Number of Phases 73
Minimum Distance 347.31 km (3.12°)
Travel Time Residual 0.85 sec
Azimuthal Gap 35°
FE Region Vanuatu (186)

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us1000489q#scientific_origin:us_us1000489q

Magnitude/uncertainty 4.7 mb± 0.2
Location/uncertainty 18.267°S 169.315°E± 6.2 km
Depth/uncertainty 10.0 km± 1.9
Origin Time
Number of Stations
Number of Phases 22
Minimum Distance 353.10 km (3.17°)
Travel Time Residual 0.69 sec
Azimuthal Gap 122°
FE Region Vanuatu (186)