Mw 7.0 Vanuatu
updated 7 August 2021

On 28 April 2016 a major earthquake occurred at Vanuatu at a depth of 30 km. The seismic event occurred at 19:33:24 UTC and had an estimated moment magnitude (Mw) 7.0.

Apart from the Mercury-Sun-Venus alignment early on the 28th, which often causes seismic activity in the low 6 magnitude range, there was high lunar geometry reaching index 17 on the 25th and from the 28th to the 29th. In addition, several wide planetary geometry (WPG) peaks coincided with and followed on the high lunar geometry on the 25th. As a result of this geometry, seismic activity could have been larger, around mid 7 magnitude, depending on the amount of fault stress. In this particular case, a second strong earthquake occurred early on the 29th.

Mercury-Sun-Venus        2016-04-28,  8:12:07   12°59'30"
          
SSGI chart
SSGI depiction of planetary (PG) and lunar (LG) geometry

 

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