Fiji earthquake causes travel concerns

The Fiji earthquake struck east of Suva at 4.39pm BST, measuring 7.8 on the earthquake magnitude scale, and causing authorities to become concerned over the threat level that this newest natural disaster could bring to the surrounding areas.

At present, only Fiji and Tonga have been affected by the earthquake, which comes just one day after a huge earthquake triggered landslides and damage in Hokkaido, Japan. Of course, Fiji is an earthquake zone and suffers from tremors more often than other locations around the world. Luckily, no tsunami warning has been issued as of yet, meaning that the earthquake doesn’t seem to have disturbed the ocean floor enough to cause an issue.

When the earthquake first occurred, it seemed that it was reported as 8.1 on the earthquake magnitude scale – this has since been reduced now that readings have been re-checked. Reports have stated that the earthquake shook from too deep within the earth to create a tsunami. Considering all of the recent natural disasters that have occurred around the world in the last few months, this feels more like dodging a bullet than anything else.

The powerful tremor struck the area of Fiji 377 miles under the surface. Fortunately, for local residents, this meant that they only felt the shock of the quake, rather than its full force. Locals reported that it was enough to cause some structural swaying, but it still seems safe for them to travel.

Fiji’s earthquakes typically do trigger tsunami alerts. As such, all travellers and tourists have been advised to make sure they completely understand the local safety procedures of the area in the event of any natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. Fiji, itself, sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” – which is a 25,000-mile-long area where approximately 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur. This area runs from New Zealand through South East Asia and Japan, and along the western coast of the Americas.

Considering this, several other countries have updated their citizens regarding the possibility of a tsunami. New Zealand’s Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management said there was also no tsunami threat to New Zealand and The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center announced that no destructive Pacific-wide tsunami was expected, and there was no tsunami threat to Hawaii.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office is yet to update the travel warning for UK nationals looking to travel out towards Fiji in the near future, but the area has always been unstable and is a hot zone for earthquakes and tremors. For any tourists or travellers currently in the area, especially in Suva, you are advised to remain vigilant and to keep up to date with local news reports regarding any earthquake or tsunami activity. In addition, ensure that you listen to any and all local authorities while travelling and if you’re ordered to evacuate or seek shelter, please do so.

There are no reports of aftershocks or other tremors following the reported earthquake near Suva.

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