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Several Large Earthquakes in Recent Days Unrelated, Scientist Says

The Ring of Fire has been restless lately. (Image credit: USGS.)

A flurry of recent earthquakes has rumbled in the Pacific, but they are normal for the region and not related to each other, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck deep underground near Fiji today (Sept. 15). A magnitude 6.2 quake also struck off the coast of the Japanese island of Honshu, where earlier this year a massive magnitude 9.0 quake devastated the country . New Zealand saw a 6.0 quake off its North Island today. Yesterday a 6.1 magnitude quake struck Alaska's Aleutian Islands, and last week a magnitude 6.4 quake struck near Vancouver Island, with shaking felt as far away as Seattle, Wash.

The quakes were all in the same seismic area, but other than that, they are unrelated, said geophysicist John Bellini of the USGS. The quakes all struck in the seismically and volcanically active Pacific Ring of Fire , but they were not triggered by each other.

"When things like that happen [one quake triggering another], it's usually immediately after," Bellini told OurAmazingPlanet.

For example, when a large earthquake hits in the Gulf of California, it's common for quakes to immediately follow in Yellowstone, Bellini said.

A magnitude 7.3 is typical for the region near Fiji, and the quake was much too deep 389 miles (626 kilometers) below the Earth's surface to trigger a tsunami, Bellini said.

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You can follow OurAmazingPlanet staff writer Brett Israel on Twitter: @btisrael. Follow OurAmazingPlanet for the latest in Earth science and exploration news on Twitter @OAPlanet and on Facebook.

Brett Israel was a staff writer for Live Science with a focus on environmental issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from The University of Georgia, a master’s degree in journalism from New York University, and has studied doctorate-level biochemistry at Emory University.