Noumea, Nov 20, 2017 (AFP) - A powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the eastern coast of New Caledonia on Monday, triggering a brief tsunami warning and evacuation alert but causing no significant damage, local officials said. The US Geological Survey said the shallow tremor hit approximately 82 kilometres east of the lightly populated Loyalty Islands at around 09:45 am (2245 GMT).
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially issued an alert saying areas within 300 kilometres (180 miles) could be affected, including Vanuatu and New Caledonia, whose capital Noumea sits some 250 kilometres east of the epicentre. It said that tsunami waves had been "observed" but gave no location or further detail. Sirens sounded briefly along coastal areas of the Loyalty Islands with some residents told to evacuate.
However, after an hour they were advised to resume normal activities but to remain vigilant for aftershocks. There have been no immediate reports of damage. Pierre Lebellegard, a seismologist for the French Research Institute for Development, told AFP the Loyalty Islands had been seismically active for the past three weeks. "They must be very frightened in Mare," he told AFP, referring to the main island where over 5,600 people live. He added that such quake clusters "happen every 10 to 15 years" in the area.
Nervous residents reported feeling several tremors throughout the night before the quake hit. "Parked cars were shaking and everyone went outside," one official from Mare told AFP. "I thought I was going to faint, I was very afraid and I rushed out of my building," said a resident of central Noumea. Geoscience Australia seismologist Spiro Spiliopoulos said damage in the capital was unlikely. "They will feel moderate shaking, but there is a low likelihood of damage from the earthquake itself in Noumea," he told AFP. Monday's earthquake followed a series of temblors to hit the Loyalty Islands area over the past few weeks, including a 6.8-magnitude quake that struck at the end of October.
New Caledonia, a French overseas territory, is part of the "Ring of Fire", a zone of tectonic activity around the Pacific that is subject to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2017 02:28:11 +0100
Sydney, Oct 31, 2017 (AFP) - A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of New Caledonia Tuesday in the tectonically active Pacific region, but there was no tsunami threat, seismologists said. The tremor hit at a depth of 29 kilometres (18 miles) some 253 kilometres from the capital Noumea and 109 kilometres from Tadine in the lightly populated Loyalty Islands.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no current threat, with experts saying while shaking would have been felt, damage was unlikely. "It was quite a distance from Noumea, but there are some smaller islands closer which certainly would have experienced a good shake," Geoscience Australia seismologist Jonathan Bathgate told AFP. "I wouldn't expect it to be particularly damaging. This area experiences these type of events fairly often. It's an active area." New Caledonia is part of the "Ring of Fire", a zone of tectonic activity around the Pacific that is subject to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Health officials in New Caledonia have discovered the presence of the type of mosquito which can carry malaria.
But the officials say there is no risk to the public because the parasite that triggers the disease is not present in the territory.
It is not known when and how the _Anopheles_ mosquitoes entered New Caledonia but they are now established in the area of La Tontouta, north of Noumea.
Malaria is found in other parts of Melanesia.
Reports say the mosquitoes were found during checks as part of efforts to fight dengue fever.
Another mosquito type, the _Aedes aegypti_, has been a major health concern in New Caledonia, having spread dengue and Zika [viruses].
Plans have been drawn up to introduce the _Wolbachia_ bacteria which should prevent that mosquito from being able to pass on the diseases [pathogens].
[It would be of interest to know which species of _Anopheles_ mosquitoes have been found in New Caledonia. _Aedes aegypti_ has been an active vector of dengue and Zika viruses on New Caledonia. The 1st locally acquired case of Zika virus infection was reported in mid-January 2014, the number of confirmed cases as of 18 Mar 2014 was 276. Dengue fever has been a frequent problem on New Caledonia. According to the authorities, nearly 5000 cases have been reported since 1 Sep 2016. The peak of the epidemic was reached in March 2017. The number of clinical cases or suspects has been declining since.
- New Caledonia. 4 Jul 2017. A 54-year-old man has succumbed to dengue, bringing the death toll to 11 since January . According to the authorities, nearly 5000 cases have been reported since 1 Sep 2016. The peak of the epidemic was reached in March 2017. The number of clinical cases or suspects has been declining since. With 1970 infected persons, the capital, Noumea, is the most affected by the epidemic, followed by the communes of Paita, Mont-Dore, and Dumbea. All of these cities have recorded the deaths related to dengue, including an infant of 6 months.
Sydney, Aug 12, 2016 (AFP) - A 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of New Caledonia Friday in the tectonically active Pacific region, but there was no tsunami threat, seismologists said. The quake struck at a depth of about nine kilometres (5.5 miles) some 109 kilometres east of Ile Hunter in New Caledonia at 0126 GMT, the United States Geological Survey said.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no current warning or advisory in the region. "Earthquakes are not unusual in that particular region and as far as I'm aware, the recent activity there has not been unusual," Geoscience Australia senior seismologist Phil Cummins told AFP. "It potentially might have been felt on some of the islands in Vanuatu or New Caledonia, but I doubt it would been enough to cause any damage there due to shaking." New Caledonia is part of the "Ring of Fire", a zone of tectonic activity around the Pacific that is subject to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.