7.2 earthquake off Fiji spurs tsunami warning

NOUMEA, New Caledonia, Aug. 12 (UPI) — A large 7.2 magnitude earthquake has struck off the Pacific island nations of Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanautu, authorities said Friday.

The quake was centered about 330 miles off Vanautu, the US Geological Survey said, prompting a tsunami warning for New Caledonia, Vanautu and Fiji from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.

The warning was eventually canceled and there are no reports of casualties or damage.

Similar sized quakes hit the region in October and December, causing no damage.

The quake triggered at least one 5.4 magnitude aftershock, the USGS said. A 6.1 quake hit about 285 miles off the island of Tonga about 90 minutes later, though did not spur a tsunami warning.

The south Pacific islands are located in an area of tectonic activity known as the “ring of fire” and routinely endure volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.



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