6.2 quake hits off Vanuatu: USGS

Last Updated: Friday, July 26, 2013 - 16:26

Sydney: A 6.2-magnitude quake hit off the South Pacific island of Vanuatu Friday, the US Geological Survey said, but it was not expected to generate a tsunami.

The US Geological Survey said the tremor at 1237 IST was 135 kilometres deep and some 48 kilometres northeast of Luganville, and more than 270 kilometres from the capital Port Vila.

Geoscience Australia estimated the quake at 5.7-magnitude and said it was unlikely to have caused any damage due to its depth.

"If there was any damage it would only be light," duty seismologist Steve Tatham said.

Earthquakes regularly hit near Vanuatu, with a 6.8-magnitude shaker hitting off the South Pacific island in December without generating a destructive tsunami.

The island lies on the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire", a zone of frequent seismic activity caused by friction between shifting tectonic plates.

It has been rocked by several large quakes in recent years, averaging about three magnitude 7.0 or above incidents every year.

AFP



First Published: Friday, July 26, 2013 - 16:26

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