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7.5 magnitude quake strikes off New Caledonia in Pacific Ocean

IANS  |  Noumea (New Caledonia) 

A powerful 7.5-magnitude shook off the coast of the Pacific island of on Wednesday, triggering a warning that was later lifted. No significant damage was reported.

is a French territory in with a population of about 270,000. It is a part of the Pacific's "Ring of Fire", where many earthquakes occur.

The struck at a depth of 10 km, with its epicentre 168 km east-south-east of Tadine, a town on one of New Caledonia's Loyalty Islands, the reported.

"Based on all available data, the threat from this has now passed," the US-based Pacific Warning Centre said in a statement.

The service, which had initially warned of the possibility of large tsunami waves of up to three metres hitting the coasts of New Caledonia, and Fiji, said that some areas might register sea level fluctuations of up to 30 centimetre in the next few hours, according to news.

New Caledonian authorities had ordered the immediate evacuation of people living along the coast following the tsunami warning.

The Office of the of the in had urged people to regroup at shelter sites with medicines, water and other essentials.

New Caledonia Civil protection authorities said the tremor led to two-metre high waves on the Isle of Pines, which caused minor damage but no casualties were reported.

The earthquake was preceded minutes earlier by another tremor of magnitude-6.0 in the same region and was followed by several aftershocks, including a 6.6-magnitude tremor.

Earlier in the day, a for the Geohazards Observatory said the sparsely populated island of was expected to be the most affected part of the country but no evacuations were ordered, reported.

tweeted that there was no tsunami threat to the nation's coasts even though the tsunami alert was issued for coasts within 1,000 km.



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First Published: Wed, December 05 2018. 15:54 IST