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7.7 grade quake shakes Pacific nations: tsunami off Vanuatu

Earthquake 2023-05-19, 11:29am

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Pacific earthquake. Screenshot taken from USGS. AP



WELLINGTON, May 19 (AP/) — A 7.7 magnitude earthquake Friday in the far Pacific created small tsunami waves in Vanuatu.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said waves less than .5 meters (1.5 feet) were measured off Lenakel, a port town in the island nation. Smaller waves were measured elsewhere off Vanuatu and off New Caledonia.

New Zealand's National Emergency Management Agency said it was still assessing the potential for a tsunami.

The PTWC also said small waves were possible for Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Guam and other Pacific islands.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was near the Loyalty Islands, southwest of Fiji, north of New Zealand and east of Australia where the Coral Sea meets the Pacific. It was 37 kilometers (23 miles) deep.

The area is part of the "Ring of Fire," an arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world's earthquakes occur.