Earthquake today: Tsunami alert off Vanuatu after 7.2 tremor hits South Pacific

There were no immediate reports of damage.

Sunday 03 April 2016 10:25
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The dot in light green shows the epicentre of the 6.9 earthquake near the Vanatu islands
The dot in light green shows the epicentre of the 6.9 earthquake near the Vanatu islands

The tsunami threat after a large 7.2 quake struck off the coast of the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu has largely passed.

The quake struck 151 km (94 miles) north-west of Santo on Vanuatu and was 35 km deep, the US Geological Survey said.

The shallower a quake, the more damage it is likely to cause.

The USGS first measured the quake at 10km deep.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre have said a tsunami is no longer likely: "The tsunami threat from this earthquake has now mostly passed. any remaining threat should be evaluated by local authorities in impacted areas."

There were no immediate reports of damage.

Republic of Vanuatu: Island reels after the destructive power of Cyclone Pam

Earthquakes are common in the area and even large tremors often cause no tsunamis.

A 7.3 magnitude quake struck off Vanuatu in October and a 6.3 quake struck in December without causing any damage.

Vanatu is a nation of 80 islands and lies on the Pacific ring of fire - this is horse shoe area of volatile seismic faults which cause a large amount of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

According to the United Nations University, Vanatu is the most at-risk nation in the world from natural disasters, Sky News reports.

Vanatu has a popluation of 270,000 with 44,000 living in the capital of Port Villa.

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