Undersea 7.7 quake in South Pacific sets off small tsunami

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Small tsunami waves were detected in South Pacific islands after an undersea earthquake early yesterday morning.

Waves of 10 centimetres were measured in Vanuatu and a smaller tsunami was detected in New Caledonia, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

Director of Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office Vasiti Soko, tweeted that the tsunami warning had been cancelled and wrote: “Fiji we are safe.”

The tsunami followed an undersea earthquake near the Loyalty Islands, which are part of New Caledonia. The United States (US) Geological Agency said the quake was strong and shallow, at magnitude 7.7 and just 10 kilometres deep.

The Loyalty Islands archipelago is about 1,800 kilometres north of New Zealand and 1,600 kilometres east-northeast of Brisbane, Australia. The islands sit along the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire,’ a horseshoe-shaped series of seismic faults around the ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes occur.