Powerful earthquake hits Vanuatu, triggers tsunami warning


Tsunami warning issued for parts of the South Pacific Ocean region after 7.0 magnitude quake hits Vanuatu.

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake has struck the South Pacific Ocean nation Vanuatu, the United States Geological Survey has said, triggering a tsunami warning for the region.

The quake hit around 11:30pm local time (12:30 GMT) on Sunday. It was centred 23km (14 miles) from Port Olry and hit at a depth of 27km (17 miles), the agency said.

“Tsunami waves reaching 0.3 to one metre above the tide level are possible for some coasts of Vanuatu,” said the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.

The centre also issued a tsunami warning for coasts located within 300km (186 miles) of the epicentre of the earthquake.

There have been no reports of damage or casualties so far.

Vanuatu has a population of 280,000 people and consists of several dozen islands. It sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates collide, and it experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

In November, a nearby island nation north of Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, was hit with a 7.0 quake. There were no reports of serious injuries or damages.

The coastal regions of nearby Papua New Guinea were put on alert for tsunami waves of up to 30cm (12 inches).

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