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Tsunami warning for Vanuatu, other islands after 7.7 magnitude earthquake shakes far Pacific

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said waves up to 1 meter (3 feet) above tides were possible for Vanuatu.

Arushi Jaiswal Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal Wellington Updated on: May 19, 2023 11:34 IST
Tsunami warning for Vanuatu, other islands
Image Source : FREEPIK Tsunami warning for Vanuatu, other islands

Tsunami warning:  An earthquake of magnitude 7.7 that struck southeast of the Loyalty Islands in the French territory of New Caledonia triggered a tsunami warning to countries in the South Pacific on Friday. The tsunami threats were issued for Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia.

According to US Geological Survey, the quake on Friday was near the Loyalty Islands. It was 37 kilometers (23 miles) deep. That is southwest of Fiji, north of New Zealand and east of Australia.

Tsunami Warning for other islands

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also said small waves were possible for Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Guam and other Pacific islands. It furtehr said waves up to 1 meter (3 feet) above tides were possible for Vanuatu, much lower than the initial forecast. New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency said it expected coastal areas would experience strong and unusual currents, with unpredictable surges at the shoreline.

Tsunami waves were 1.5 feet

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said waves less than half a meter (1.5 feet) were measured off Lenakel, a port town in the island nation. Smaller waves were measured elsewhere off Vanuatu and off New Caledonia.

Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office advised people to evacuate from coastal areas to higher grounds. The office said people should listen to their radios for updates and take other precautionary measures.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake’s epicenter was near the Loyalty Islands, southwest of Fiji, north of New Zealand and east of Australia where the Coral Sea meets the Pacific. It was 37 kilometers (23 miles) deep. The area is part of the “Ring of Fire,” an arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes occur.

(With AP inputs)

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