Magnitude 7.1 Quake Hits Vanuatu, Triggers Tsunami Warning

Thu Dec 07 2023
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SYDNEY: An earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck south of Vanuatu on Thursday, said the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Soon after the earthquake a tsunami warning has been issued in the South Pacific Ocean nation.

According to the USGS the offshore quake struck at 1256 GMT at a depth of 48 kilometres and about 338 kilometres from the capital Port Vila.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said hazardous waves from this earthquake are possible within 300 kilometres of the epicenter of the quake.

Vanuatu’s Meteorology and Geohazards Department has warned residents in the southernmost Tafea province to take precautionary measures and avoid visiting the coastal areas.

There are no immediate reports of damage from the strong earthquake.

Earthquakes are quite common in Vanuatu, a small country of 320,000 people that is located at the seismic Ring of Fire.

The Ring of Fire is an arc of intense tectonic activity that spreads from Southeast Asia to the Pacific basin.

A magnitude 6.7 earthquake hit northern Vanuatu in November. Vanuatu is among the countries most vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes, storms, flooding and tsunamis.

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