Tsunami warnings for Vanuatu, New Caledonia after magnitude-7.6 natural disaster

The quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometres the U.S. Geological Survey says

The quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometres the U.S. Geological Survey says

It was felt as far away as Vanuatu.

It said waves 1m to 3m (3.3ft to 9.8ft) above tide level were possible along the coasts of New Caledonia and Vanuatu, with waves of 0.3m to 1m above tide level for coasts of Fiji.

The PTWC issued tsunami wave warnings for Anatom Island and Esperitu Santo in Vanuatu and Noumea in New Caledonia. He said the waves travelled only a couple of metres beyond the normal tidal waves, and that everybody was fine on the island.

"We get a lot of earthquakes every year", he said.

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The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre advises there is no tsunami threat to Australia.

"Hazardous tsunami waves are forecast for some coasts", the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, after earlier warning that the danger zone included "coasts located within 1000 kilometres of the natural disaster epicentre".

The warning urged evacuation for threatened coastal areas, saying "tsunami waves have been observed".

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck southeast of Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia at a depth of 10 kilometres. At least five aftershocks also hit, ranging in magnitude from 5.6 to 6.0.

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It spreads across 40,000km (25,000 miles) from the southern tip of South America all the way to New Zealand.

Its citizens last month rejected independence in a referendum, though the vote revealed lower-then-expected support for remaining part of France.

It sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world's earthquakes and volcanic activity occur.

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