Earthquakes in Vanuatu

In Vanuatu there are partly large earthquakes with strengths of more than 7.0, which cause damages within a radius of over 100 kilometers. Due to the special tectonic situation of the country, there are more earthquakes than average.

6 people died since 1950 by direct consequences of earthquakes. 20 earthquakes also caused a subsequent tsunami, which claimed further lifes and damages.

Other natural hazards in Vanuatu:
The most severe natural disasters worldwide

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Most recent events

This list includes the strongest earthquakes recorded in or around Vanuatu by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in the past 14 days. Whether an event is listed here depends largely on its magnitude, but also on its distance from inhabited areas. All data refer to the local time. This page is updated daily at 11am UTC.

  • May 27, 2:37 am
    Magnitude 6.4: southeast of the Loyalty Islands at a depth of 10 km. Tsunami warning!
  • May 25, 6:04 am
    Magnitude 4.8: 160 km south-southwest of Port-Vila at a depth of 25.03 km.
  • May 24, 6:26 am
    Magnitude 5.6: 108 km south of Lakatoro at a depth of 10 km.
  • May 24, 4:46 am
    Magnitude 4.9: southeast of the Loyalty Islands at a depth of 10 km.
  • May 21, 10:12 am
    Magnitude 4.6: 19 km north-northeast of Isangel at a depth of 142.27 km.

Earthquakes in Vanuatu since 1950

The strongest earthquake in Vanuatu happened on 12/02/1950 in the region Vanuatu Islands with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale.
DateRegionDepthMagnitudeDeathsTotal damage
12/15/2018Ambrym Island11 km5.40
04/28/2016Vanuatu Islands7 km7.00
02/19/2015Vanuatu Islands21 km6.40
04/14/2012Vanuatu Islands26 km6.30
03/09/2012Vanuatu Islands50 km6.70
02/02/2012Vanuatu Islands40 km7.00
08/20/2011Vanuatu Islands23 km7.00
08/20/2011Vanuatu Islands2 km7.10
01/09/2011Vanuatu Islands44 km6.50
12/25/2010Vanuatu Islands37 km7.30
08/10/2010Vanuatu Islands44 km7.20
10/07/2009Vanuatu Islands14 km7.60
06/02/2009Tongoa3 km6.30
05/29/2009Tongoa14 km5.70
04/28/2008Vanuatu Islands34 km6.40
08/01/2007Luganville51 km7.20
03/25/2007Vanuatu Islands1 km7.10
11/27/2002Mere Lava Island17 km5.90
01/02/2002Efate, Port Vila48 km7.20
11/26/1999Pentecost15 km7.55
07/27/1990Espiritu Santo59 km6.40
07/06/1987Vanuatu Islands42 km6.60
12/21/1985Vanuatu Islands22 km7.60
11/28/1985Vanuatu Islands54 km7.60
12/29/1973Luganville, Lamap31 km7.20
12/28/1973Espiritu Santo, Luganille45 km7.50
10/27/1971Espiritu Santo, Port Vila36 km7.11
08/13/1965Vanuatu Islands32 km7.30
08/11/1965Vanuatu Islands45 km7.60
07/05/1964Espiritu Santo Islands 7.50
07/23/1961Vanuatu Islands10 km7.30
07/02/1953Vanuatu Islands 7.50
07/13/1952Vanuatu Islands33 km6.80
12/02/1950Vanuatu Islands49 km7.80

These statistics are based on datas from the National Geophysical Data Center / World Data Service (NGDC/WDS): Significant Earthquake Database. doi:10.7289/V5TD9V7K. Several data have been summarized and translated.
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