Strong 6.6 quake strikes off Vanuatu

There were no immediate reports of damage from quake which hit at 9:03pm.

Updated: Jan 09, 2011, 23:07 PM IST

Sydney: A strong 6.6-magnitude earthquake
struck beneath the sea near the south Pacific island nation of
Vanuatu, but no tsunami warning was issued, the US Geological
Survey (USGS) said in a revised statement Sunday.

There were no immediate reports of damage from the
quake, which hit at 9:03pm (1003 GMT) at a depth of 17
kilometres (10.5 miles), 107 kilometres from the town of
Isangel on Tanna island, the USGS said.

The USGS had initially measured the quake at 6.9 with
a depth of 31.1 kilometres.

The quake was the latest in a series of undersea
tremors near the island, which is home to an active volcano.

A powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck the area on
December 26, triggering a small tsunami exactly six years
after giant waves killed 220,000 people around the Indian
Ocean, but there were no reports of damage or casualties.

The USGS said that small tsunamis were possible after
today`s quake in coastal locations that had experienced strong
ground shaking, because of underwater landslides.

But the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that "a
destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected".

Vanuatu, which lies between Fiji and Australia and
north of New Zealand, is in the "Pacific Ring of Fire" known
for its seismic and volcanic activity caused by friction
between moving plates in the Earth`s crust.