An area of the South Pacific near Fiji recently experienced a magnitude 8.2 earthquake. The quake occurred on August 19, 2018, shortly after noon. Only 200 miles away from Fiji and Tonga, residents and tourists were quickly put on alert about the situation and the possibility of strong aftershocks. The depth of the quake has been estimated at about 500 kilometers. Further details are expected from the US Geological Survey over the next few days after researchers look at any damage that occurred as a result of the earthquake and the aftershocks.
There was an initial fear of a tsunami warning, but there has been no immediate threat to the area, including Hawaii. The reason that a tsunami warning wasn’t issued was because of the depth of the earthquake. When there is an earthquake that occurs at 500 kilometers, the impacts are often seen more in the lower areas of the ocean instead of on the surface and on land masses that are nearby. There have been no reports of damage to buildings or homes in Fiji. No injuries have been reported as a result of the earthquake as well.
Residents in Fiji and surrounding areas did report that they felt the strong earthquake even though there have been no damage reports. Leaders are investigating the area carefully and are monitoring information that is coming in from the USGS to determine if there could be another earthquake in the near future. If the earthquake wasn’t as deep as it was, then significant damage could have occurred. Several hotels in Fiji made reports about feeling the earthquake when it occurred, but fortunately, business owners haven’t reported any damage. This area in the Pacific Ocean is known as the Ring of Fire and has seen an increase in activity in recent years.