World News

Tsunami warning cancelled after quake off Vanuatu

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck off the South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu on Thursday, briefly prompting a tsunami warning which was later canceled.

The quake, initially reported as a magnitude 7.6, struck at 4:14 a.m. on Friday (1:14 p.m. EDT on Thursday) and was centered 133 miles northwest of Santo in Vanuatu, at a depth of 22.4 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center for a brief time issued a warning for Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia but later canceled it, saying sea level readings did not indicate any tsunami signal.

Police and fire service officials in Vanuatu said they had not felt the quake.

Eddie Stice, Vanuatu Country Director for the U.S. Peace Corps, said by telephone that he had not felt the quake from the capitol Port Vila, which is on an island a few hundred miles (km) south of the quake epicenter, and that he was not aware of any damage.

Reporting by Sandra Maler and Peter Henderson, editing by Vicki Allen and Mark Trevelyan