7.5 magnitude natural disaster rattles New Caledonia, sparks tsunami concerns

Magnitude 7.6 earthquake near Loyalty Islands, no tsunami threat to New Zealand

A tsunami warning has been issued for all of the Pacific island of New Caledonia, after a shallow 7.6-magnitude natural disaster struck off the country's coast, prompting warnings that hazardous tsunami waves up to three metres high could reach New Caledonia and Vanuatu. Based on current information, the initial assessment is that the natural disaster is unlikely to have caused a tsunami that will affect New Zealand. Based on current information, the initial assessment is that the natural disaster is unlikely to have caused a tsunami that will affect New Zealand.

"We have set off the alarm on the exterior of New Caledonia but we don't have any immediate assessment of potential damage", a spokeswoman for the Directorate for Civil Protection and Risk Management told the Reuters news agency.

There were no immediate reports of damage from the natural disaster, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that waves had been "observed" and could reach up to three meters high.

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Authorities said the quake, followed by at least 20 strong aftershocks, was centred about 170 kilometres southeast of New Caledonia's Loyalty Islands at a depth of just 10 kilometres.

'Tsunami waves reaching 1 to 3 meters above the tide level are possible along some coasts of New Caledonia and Vanuatu, ' the PTWC said.

Waves of up to 3m were possible in New Caledonia and Vanuatu.




Mr Rene said so far there were no reports of a tsunami or damage in the Loyalty islands.

"The building shook, but there was no damage".

Civil Defence is assessing whether a 7.6 magnitude natural disaster near Loyalty Islands will affect New Zealand.

"Tsunami waves have been observed".

According to Geoscience Australia, the quake struck southeast of the Loyalty Islands about 3:18pm AEDT, just four minutes after a magnitude 5.7 quake hit the area. "For now, nothing serious has happened".

A spokesman for the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory said the sparsely populated island of Tanna was expected to be the most affected part of the country but no evacuations had been ordered, the Guardian reported.

New Caledonia, with a population of 269,000 people, is a French Pacific territory.

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