Join our adventure in The Kingdom of Tonga


Hey everyone!  We experienced the strongest earthquake since we have been in Tonga, today, a magnitude 7 or 7.1 depending on where you look.  We live right next door to the seismographic geologic station here on Tongatapu so I’ll stop by in the morning and check the official record.  It’s somewhere between 33km and 47km deep so there isn’t much to worry about in the way of a tsunami effecting us.  It’s one of the beauties of the earthquakes here is that we are right over a convergent plate boundary and all of the earthquakes are extremely deep.  It usually takes a underwater subsidence or large volcanic eruption to cause what the world saw happen in 2004 in Indonesia.

It was really cool to feel this earthquake because you could walk outside and see the bushes and trees shaking like crazy and the telephone/power lines swinging.  It was almost like being on a boat swaying with a really strong wind hitting you suddenly.  Probably the coolest part about it was being on the phone with Steve and being able to tell him what was happening right before it got to him in Vava’u.  Also being inside, it felt like the floor was jello and the room going back and forth. It lasted several minutes so there was plenty of time for observation. No damage has been reported yet.

The earthquake in Ha’apai in 2006 was reported as a 8.0 or 8.1 and it has been said that the island system asctually dropped by 18 inches.  That’s pretty darn hard to believe, but when you talk to old folks there they say that parts of Lifuka are erroding that were never effected by erosion pre-earthquake, you start to wonder.  I could see some signs of damage from this quake in the building that I worked.  There were large cracks in the walls and some in the floors.  Some older structures had collapsed as well due to neglect pre-earthquake.

1 Comment»

  Bill wrote @

I guess God was sending you a message. Remember, we are all part of HIS plan.

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