7.2-magnitude Quake Hits South Pacific Nation of Vanuatu - NECN

7.2-magnitude Quake Hits South Pacific Nation of Vanuatu



    7.2-magnitude Quake Hits South Pacific Nation of Vanuatu

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - An earthquake with a preliminary
    magnitude of 7.2 rattled the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu
    early Friday, triggering a tsunami watch for the area, officials

    said. There were no immediate reports of damage.

    The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii issued a tsunami
    warning for Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia. It said
    the quake had the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that
    could strike coastlines in the region within minutes to hours.
    The warning center said it was not known if a tsunami was
    The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit at just after 4
    a.m. local time Friday and was centered 300 miles (485 kilometers)
    northwest of the capital, Port Vila, at a depth of 22 miles (36
    Authorities in Vanuatu said they were checking for information
    on both the quake and the regional tsunami alert.
    "We're expecting to issue an alert for any tsunami threat
    shortly, but we have no report of a tsunami from Luganville," said
    the director of Vanuatu's Meteorological Office, who only gave his
    name as Salesa. Luganville is the island closest to the quake's
    He said his office was assessing the information from the
    Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and working with police to gather
    more information.
    "We have no information yet and no sign of any tsunami,"
    police spokesman Smith Wuwue said from Port Vila on the island of
    (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)