The months of September and October were quite active, seismically speaking, compared to the previous 2 months. One great earthquake, a magnitude (M) 8.1, was centered in the West Irian region on September 12. Two major (M=7.0-7.9) earthquakes occurred, one on October 12, a M=7.3 off the west coast of South Island, New Zealand, and one on October 23, a M=7.2 in the Solomon Islands. Damaging earthquakes hit central Italy and Guatemala.
In the United States, California experienced the strongest earthquake in that State since 1971. The quake, a M=6.8, occurred on October 15, in Baja California, Mexico, near the California border and caused injuries and damage.