Friday, 12 August 2016 - 8:27
New Caledonia earthquake: 7.2 quake prompts tsunami alert
A major earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 has struck just metres from a South Pacific island, causing experts to issue a tsunami warning.
The quake happened 500km southeast off the islands of Vanuatu, according to the US Geological Survey.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) issued a warning for areas close to the quake, although there was no Pacific-wide threat of a tsunami, the Hawaii-based centre said.
The quake was measured at a depth of about six miles.
The PTWC issued the preliminary warning of “hazardous tsunami waves” which covers the region of Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia.
But the magnitude was downgraded to 5.4 and the tsunami warning was later cancelled.
In July an earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter Scale also struck the same area, sparking tsunami fears.