News World Tsunami warning after massive Pacific earthquake

Tsunami warning after massive Pacific earthquake

Tsunami warning
A tsunami warning has been issued for New Caledonia and Vanuatu. Photo: USGS
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A tsunami warning has been issued for New Caledonia and Vanuatu after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck near the islands.

The quake, which the US Geological Survey originally said measured at a magnitude of 7.3, was centred 82 km east-northeast of Tadine on Mare Island at 10km deep.

The Bureau of Meteorology said there is no tsunami threat to mainland Australia.

Notice of a possible tsunami has been issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC).

The PTWC has warned of “hazardous tsunami waves” possible for coasts within 300 km of the epicenter, which puts the Loyalty Islands archipelago, with a population of over 17,000, within range.

The agency said waves as high as 1 metre above the high-tide mark were forecast to hit New Caledonia, with smaller waves in Vanuatu.

It said the actual size of the waves will vary depending on the coastline, with barrier reefs reducing wave height, and warned that the initial wave may not be the largest.

Vanuatu’s national disaster management office advised people in southern provinces to evacuate coastal areas for higher ground.

New Caledonia’s civil security agency said it was not planning to evacuate immediately.

“We are a little bit scared, we have had an earthquake last night and today it was quite a big one,” said Wayan Rigault, communications manager at Hotel Nengone Village on the island of Mare, which is the closest landmass to the epicentre.

Mr Rigault said there was no immediate damage, but guests were on alert for a formal evacuation warning.