No tsunami threat to Australia following 7.6 magnitude quake

05 December, 2018, 09:40 | Author: Carlos George
  • Magnitude 7.6 earthquake near Loyalty Islands, no tsunami threat to New Zealand

A powerful magnitude 7.6 quake has struck off the coast of New Caledonia in the Loyalty Islands.

Earthquakes generally have more destructive potential when the epicentre is near the surface and New Caledonia also sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where most of the world's earthquakes and volcanic activity occur.

"Hazardous tsunami waves from this quake are possible within 1000km of the epicentre along the coasts of Vanuatu and New Caledonia", the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.

The undersea quake was only a shallow 10 km (6 miles) deep and about 155 km (95 miles) east-southeast of the Loyalty Islands off New Caledonia's east coast.

It said the waves could be as high as 3m above sea level in New Caledonia and Vanuatu, and up to 1m above the tide level in Fiji.

The PTWC issued tsunami wave warnings for Anatom Island and Esperitu Santo in Vanuatu and Noumea in New Caledonia.

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New Caledonia, with a population of 269,000 people, is a French Pacific territory.

People in coastal areas are reportedly being urged to evacuate immediately.

They said initial tsunami waves could arrive between 4:42pm UTC and 5:39pm UTC but warned that the actual arrival time of the wave could differ from this and warned that "a tsunami is a series of waves and the time between waves can be five minutes to one hour" and that the initial wave may not be the largest and most risky in the series.

Authorities asked citizens to seek safety after the quake struck.

A short time before WeatherWatch.co.nz said the region wasn't known for generating serious tsunami for New Zealand but everyone should keep up to date with more information as it comes in this evening.

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