Business Standard

Tsunami alert on Pacific islands after 7.5-magnitude quake

IANS  |  Noumea (New Caledonia) 

A 7.5-magnitude shook off the coast of the Pacific island of New Caledonia, prompting warnings that waves of up to three metres can reach and

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

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

"Based on the preliminary parameters, hazardous waves are possible for coasts located within 1,000km of the earthquake epicentre," warned the Pacific Warning Centre (PTWC), saying waves could reach between one and three metres high.

The issued a tsunami warning for all of New Caledonia, ordering the "immediate evacuation" of people to refuge areas and the "application of safety instructions", with residents being alerted by urgent text message instructing them to go to refugee shelters.

Those unable to reach a shelter were asked to move more than 300 metres away from the coast or seek refuge in elevated areas.

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 had been ordered, reported.

New Zealand's Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, however, tweeted that there was no tsunami threat to the nation's coasts even though the tsunami alert issued for coasts within 1,000 km.

The United States Geological Survey also recorded a series of aftershocks, two of them at 5.9 magnitude.

More than 20 and countries, including and New Zealand, could also register a slight increase in wave height, authorities said.

"The national authorities will determine the appropriate level of alert for each country," the said.



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First Published: Wed, December 05 2018. 14:44 IST