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Tsunami warning issued in New Caledonia after 7.7 magnitude earthquake

Earthquake hits the South Pacific French territory of New Caledonia, and tsunami warnings are issued in the coastal areas. New Zealand is also assessing the tsunami threat on its west coast.

China building tsunami alert centre in South China Sea

Tsunami warning issued in New Caledonia

Sudeep Singh Rawat New Delhi

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A 7.7 magnitude quake jolted South Pacific, people were told to avoid coastal areas as a Tsunami warning was issued on Friday following the earthquake in the French territory of New Caledonia.

According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC), Tsunami waves are possible on the coasts of Vanuatu ranging from 0.3m to 1 metre. Waves below the level are set for 25 island groups, including Tonga and Tuvalu.

The threat alert also mentioned that a 22-centimetre tsunami had been observed near New Caledonia.

Australia's meteorology bureau also issued a tsunami threat and asked the people on the water's edge to leave the water edge due to waves and strong currents.

A general store owner in Lord Howe Islands, Damien Ball, said, "We haven't moved to higher ground and we're probably not going to, we've been through this numerous times before and nothing ever comes of it."

Similar warnings were also issued on New Zealand's west coast. New Zealand's National Emergency Management Agency tweeted that the agency is analysing if the quake “poses any tsunami threat to New Zealand.”

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake hit at a depth of around 38 km.

The South Pacific region is highly sensitive in terms of quakes and tsunamis. According to USGS, it's one of the most seismically active areas of the world with the convergence rate of Australian and Pacific tectonic plates constantly pushing against each other.

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First Published: May 19 2023 | 12:30 PM IST

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