W Pacific tsunami alert cancelled
A 7.6-magnitude quake struck at a shallow depth under the sea near Vanuatu.
Wellington: A tsunami alert following a major 7.3-magnitude earthquake in the western Pacific early on Sunday was cancelled, the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) said.
The quake was initially given a magnitude of 7.6 by the US Geological Survey, which later downgraded its estimate to 7.3.
"Sea level readings confirm that a tsunami was generated," the PTWC said after its original warning, which covered Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji. "It may have been destructive along coasts near the earthquake epicentre."
But it said that the tsunami detected at a gauge in Vanuatu was 0.15 metres (6 inches) high relative to normal sea level, and shortly afterwards withdrew the alert for all areas.