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Three Large Earthquakes Shake In Little More Than 24 Hours
Released: 4/25/1997

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Rebecca Phipps 1-click interview
Phone: 703-648-4460

Floods were not the only natural hazard on the world stage in recent days with three large earthquakes occurring within hours of each other, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The waters near Guam, in the Caribbean and in the South Pacific experienced large earthquakes in little more than 24 hours this week.

This may seem like an extreme amount of seismic activity but it really is not unusual. These areas experience large earthquakes often and only the timing - three large events close together - is noteworthy.

The Santa Cruz Islands earthquake - magnitude 7.9 is the largest in the world so far in 1997.

"As we learn more about earth processes such as earthquakes, reporting them becomes more critical to national and international agencies, scientists and the general public," said Pat Leahy, chief of the USGS Geologic Division.

"Studying earthquakes worldwide allows us to better understand earthquakes in general. This leads to better strategies for understanding earthquake hazards in the United States and reducing the risks associated with them."

This week’s string of large earthquakes:

Wed., April 23 - Guam. Magnitude 6.3, about 55 miles north of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. The earthquake occurred at 3:44 p.m. EDT.

Tues., April 22 - Trinidad. Magnitude 6.5, about 35 miles northeast of Port of Spain, the capitol of Trinidad. The earthquake occurred at 5:31 a.m. EDT.

Tues., April 22 - Santa Cruz Islands. Magnitude 7.9, about 1400 miles northeast of Brisbane, Australia. The earthquake occurred at 8:02 a.m. EDT. A local tsunami warning was issued. Some damage was incurred along the coastline of the Solomon Islands and the Vanuatu Islands.

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