Macquarie Island is about halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, a little over 900 miles (1500km) from mainland Tasmania. Macquire island sits along the Alpine fault line, where the Pacific and Indian-Australian plates meet. Researchers refer to the spot as the Macquarie Triple Junction.
The location is volcanically active and one of the only locations in the world where the earth’s mantle is exposed, according to Britannica. The area endures earthquakes regularly. Ones this powerful occur, on average, about once a year.
The island was discovered in 1810 by Australian seal hunter, Frederick Hassleborough, and named after the governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie.
Since its discovery, intrigue in the island has perpetuated curiosity about its animal life, plant life, and seismic activity. The development of the Australian-Antarctic Program pushed the need for a scientific presence. In 1997, Macquarie island was designated a World Heritage Site by United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO.)
According to Reuters and sources local to Macquarie island, no tsunami warning was issued since the quake. Because the island is a nature reserve, there have yet to be any fatalities, injuries, or irreversible damage reported.