WELLINGTON, New Zealand – A massive earthquake struck the southern Pacific on Wednesday sent jitters around the region after the…
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – A massive earthquake struck the southern Pacific on Wednesday sent jitters around the region after the authorities warned of possible tsunami but there were no initial reports about destructive waves or major injuries.
The size 7.5 cake hit the afternoon near New Caledonia at a shallow depth, where earthquakes are generally more harmful. It felt as far away as Vanuatu.
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that tsunami waves between 3 and 1
0 feet were possible along some coasts of New Caledonia and Vanuatu before the later lifted the warning.
Judith Rostain, a freelance journalist headquartered in New Caledonia, Noumea, said there was no damage to the city and the threat of a tsunami seemed to have gone. She said the situation was unclear on the east coast and scattered outer islands.
In Vanuatu, Dan McGarry said that he only heard of three small waves that hit the southern island of Aneityum. McGarry, media director at Vanuatu Daily Post, said the waves traveled only 7 meters beyond the normal tidal waves, and everyone was well on the island.
McGarry said he felt the shake where he is based in Vanuatus’s capital, Port Vila, as a mild shake.
“We get many earthquakes every year,” he said. “The tsunam alert was what was different this time.”
The warning center said there was no tsunami threat to Hawaii. It said that waves of up to 3 meters were possible in Fiji.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake struck about 104 miles east of Tadine in New Caledonia at a shallow depth of 6 miles. At least five aftershocks also hit, ranging in size from 5.6 to 6.6. 6.6 was also six miles down.
Vanuatu and the New Caledonia population are similar, with more than 280,000 people living in each archipelago.
Last month, voters in New Caledonia chose to remain in France instead of
Both New Caledonia and Vanuatu sit on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, the arch of seismic bugs around the Pacific Ocean where most of the earthquakes and Volcanic activity in the world occurs.