A massive 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck the South Pacific on Thursday, triggering a small tsunami in the region. Small islands in the area have reported no damages. The quake struck at just after midnight on Thursday local time (1320 GMT Wednesday) about 415 kilometres (258 miles) east of Vao in New Caledonia at a depth of 10 kilometres, according to the US Geological Survey.
The US government’s NWS Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said “hazardous tsunami waves” were forecast for some coasts. It said waves reaching between 0.3 and one metre above the tide level were possible for Fiji, New Zealand and Vanuatu. A wave of 0.3 metres struck Fiji, according to the Twitter feed of the island nation’s seismology department. It provided no further details. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology also confirmed in a tweet that a tsunami had been generated. Australian Bureau of Meteorology said that Lord Howe Island, which is located at a distance of about 550 kilometres east of Australia’s mainland was under a tsunami threat. The agency, however, added that there was no need for evacuation. New Zealand National Emergency Management Agency noted that there were “strong and unusual currents” in northern coastal areas of the country. The department ruled out a larger risk of tsunami to its coasts and refrained from issuing a tsunami alert.
Frequent volcanic and seismic activity is witnessed in the Pacific Ring of Fire. 4,300 people had lost their lives when a massive 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia’s Sulawesi island. In 2004, 2.2 lakh were killed when a 9.1 magnitude quake struck Sumatra Island of Indonesia. 1.7 people were killed in Indonesia during the disaster.