Vanuatu hit by 6.8 magnitude earthquake sparking 600km-wide tsunami warning

VANUATU has been hit by a magnitude-6.8 earthquake, the US Tsunami Warning System issued a potential threat of a tsunami – that threat has now passed.

Vanuatu: 6.8 magnitude tremor reported near Port-Olry

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The US Geological Survey (USGS) has said the earthquake was at a depth of 91km (56 miles) and was triggered about 19km north-west of Port-Olry. The US Tsunami Warning system have indicated the tremor, which hit at 11.10am UTC+1. There were concerns it could spark a tsunami, warnings of hazardous waves for coasts within 300km of the epicentre were issued, but the tsunami threat has now passed. 

The USGS had initially said the magnitude was 7.1 and the depth was 83.3 km.

The earthquake took place in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially issued a warning of hazardous waves. 

They said large waves could hit coasts up to 300km from the epicentre of the earthquake. 

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Vanuatu hit by magnitude-6.8 earthquake - tsunami warning

Vanuatu hit by magnitude-6.8 earthquake – tsunami warning (Image: USGS)

Picture of Vanuatu

Vanuatu earthquake tsunami warning: The USGS had intially said the magnitude was 7.1 (Image: GETTY)

Volcano Discovery tracks earthquakes around the world, it believes the earthquake quake would have been “widely felt by almost everyone in the area of the epicentre”.

The earthquake struck off the coast of Vanuatu at 9.10pm local time today (10.10am GMT).

This quake comes after the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake which hit Haiti on August 15.

The quake left at least 1,297 people dead and more than 5,700 are injured. 

Picture of Vanuatu

Vanuatu earthquake tsunami warning: To escape a tsunami, go as high and as far as you can (Image: GETTY)

What should you do if a tsunami strikes?

The Red Cross advise that in the event of a tsunami or tsunami warning you should go as high and as far as you can – ideally to a spot 100 feet above sea level or 2 miles away.

If you can see the wave, you are not in a safe enough position.

A Tsunami warning means a tsunami may have been generated, it could be close to you so you should take action immediately. 

A Tsunami watch means a tsunami wave hasn’t yet been confirmed but it could exist and might be as little as an hour away.

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Picture of earthquake damage in Haiti

Tsunami warning: Haiti was devastated by an earthquake (Image: GETTY)

History of earthquakes in the area

The region is often struck by earthquakes as seismic activity is common here.

The eastern margin of the Australian plate is one of the most seismically active areas of the world.

The movement of this plate is thought to have caused this latest quake.

Where is Vanuatu? 

Vanuatu is officially called the Republic of Vanuatu. 

It’s an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. 

Vanuatu is rose to fame after it emerged a tribe on the island worshipped Prince Philip as a god.  

Roy Walsh

Roy Walsh

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