Magnitude 7.1 Quake Hits Off Vanuatu, Tsunami Warning Lifted

Magnitude 7.1 quake hits off Vanuatu, tsunami warning lifted

Sydney, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 8th Dec, 2023) A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Thursday off the coast of the Pacific island nation Vanuatu, but a tsunami threat passed and there were no immediate reports of damage.

The offshore quake hit at 1256 GMT at a depth of 48 kilometres (30 miles), around 120 kilometres south of the town of Isangel and 340 kilometres from the capital Port Vila, the United States Geological Survey said.

"There is no longer a tsunami warning from this earthquake," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said after revising its initial assessment.

The quake and tsunami threat meant a short night for some residents in Isangel.

"It was scary, it woke us up as it happened around midnight," Anna Erick, who works at a beachside hotel in Isangel on the island of Tanna, told AFP.

"It didn't last long, but we were up until three or four o'clock in the morning waiting for the all clear after the tsunami warning.

" There was no damage to the resort, she added.

Vanuatu's Meteorology and Geohazards Department had warned residents in the southernmost Tafea province to take "precautionary measures" such as moving from the coast to higher ground.

USGS initially reported a magnitude of 7.3 and a depth of 35 kilometres, but soon revised its report.

Earthquakes are common in Vanuatu, a low-lying archipelago of 320,000 people that straddles the seismic Ring of Fire, an arc of intense tectonic activity that stretches through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

A magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck northern Vanuatu in November, with authorities warning that "small tsunami waves" had been picked up by ocean monitoring equipment.

Vanuatu is ranked as one of the countries most susceptible to natural disasters such as earthquakes, storm damage, flooding and tsunamis, according to the annual World Risk Report.