Tsunami alert issued in South Pacific

A massive earthquake has struck beneath the waters of the South Pacific, and dangerously powerful waves may soon follow. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is cautioning that the magnitude 7.6 quake, The shallow earthquake struck southeast of the Loyalty Islands today around 4.18am GMT could pose risks for Vanuatu and the nearby island chain of New Caledonia.
"Hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 1000 km [roughly 620 miles] of the earthquake epicenter," the service said.
The epicenter was recorded just over 100 miles southeast of Tadine, a town on the Loyalty Islands, which are part of New Caledonia. The region's high commission ordered residents to immediately evacuate to high ground and refuge areas, according to The Guardian. New Caledonia, a French overseas territory, has a population of about 259,000.
The tsunami threat has now passed but officials expect sea fluctuations to affect coastal areas. Residents of New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji are urged to remain alert and cautious when near the sea.
 


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