A massive 7.7 magnitude earthquake was reported southeast of the Loyalty Islands, at 13:19:56 GMT on Wednesday (February 10). It was located 415 km to the east of the island of New Caledonia in the southwest Pacific Ocean. The earthquake occurred at the plate boundary of the Australian and Pacific plates.
After the earthquake, Australia and New Zealand had issued Tsunami warnings which have now been rescinded after the threat level decreased. New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency said “The National Advisory issued following the 7.7 earthquake near SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS at 2021-02-11 2:20 AM New Zealand Daylight Time is cancelled.”
The National Advisory issued following the 7.7 earthquake near SOUTHEAST OF LOYALTY ISLANDS at 2021-02-11 2:20 AM New Zealand Daylight Time is cancelled.
— National Emergency Management Agency (@NZcivildefence) February 10, 2021
The quake was followed by at least eight tremors with intensity on the Richter scale ranging from 5.6 to 6.4. Loyalty Islands falls in a very active seismic zone and has seen 14 M 7+ earthquakes in the past century with the largest one occurring on May 16, 1995, which was of 7.7 magnitude.
Furthermore, no damage to life and property has been reported and the authorities confirmed that some coastal areas may see tidal waves of one metre. In 2004, a massive 9.1 magnitude earthquake near Sumatra, Indonesia caused a massive tsunami that killed 2,25,000 people from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India.