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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Powerful 7.7-magnitude earthquake hits South Pacific island, tsunami warning issued

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An earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale struck southeast of the Loyalty Islands on Friday, raising the possibility of a “dangerous tsunami wave”, according to officials.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said in its latest update that the earthquake occurred at 2:57 am.

The epicenter had a depth of 37.7 km, and the USGS said it was identified as 23.229 degrees south latitude and 170.694 degrees east longitude.

The US Tsunami Warning System reported that dangerous tsunami waves from the earthquake could occur within 1,000 km of the epicenter along the coasts of Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji.

The Loyalty Islands are one of three administrative divisions of New Caledonia comprising the archipelago of the Loyalty Islands in the Pacific Ocean, located northeast of Grande Terre on the New Caledonian mainland.

Meanwhile, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology pointed to a possible tsunami threat on Lord Howe Island, a popular holiday destination in eastern Australia with 300 residents.

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