Thursday, May 27, 2010

7.2 quake hits South Pacific nation of Vanuatu

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.2 rattled the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu early Friday, triggering a tsunami watch for the area, officials said. There were no immediate reports of damage.The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii issued a tsunami warning for Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia. It said the quake had the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that could strike coastlines in the region within minutes to hours.The warning center said it was not known if a tsunami was generated.The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit at just after 4 a.m. local time Friday and was centered 300 miles (485 kilometers) northwest of the capital, Port Vila, at a depth of 22 miles (36 kilometers).Authorities in Vanuatu said they were checking for information on both the quake and the regional tsunami alert...

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