Massive Quake Rocks Vanuatu, Tsunami Alerted


Port Vila: An earthquake of magnitude 6.9 has struck near the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, the US Geological Survey (USGS) says. The earthquake struck 109km west-south-west of Sola, Vanuatu, at 6.58pm (NZT) at a depth of 33.7 km, the USGS said. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre did not issue a Pacific-wide tsunami warning.

“Based on all available data a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected,” the centre said. The USGS said the quake hit at 7:23 p.m. local time (4.23 a.m. ET) off the island of Espiritu Santo, 407 kilometers (more than 250 miles) north-northwest of the capital, Port Vila.

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It occurred about 81 kilometers (50 miles) north-northwest of the town of Port Olry at a depth of 35 kilometers (22 miles). The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially warned of a potential tsunami but subsequently said the threat had “now largely passed.” Vanuatu is situated in one of the most seismically active areas in the world, and similarly sized temblors struck it in October and December.