New Caledonians ordered to shelters in tsunami alert after large quake

Frederick Owens
December 5, 2018

McGarry said he felt the quake where he is based in Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila, as a mild shaking.

Earthquakes are generally more destructive when the epicenter is near the surface.

Waves of up to 3m were possible in New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) warned of possible hazardous tsunamis in the region following the shallow and powerful tremor on Wednesday.

Tsunami warnings are in place for Vanuatu and New Caledonia, after a magnitude-7.5 quake struck in the region this afternoon.

"Based on the preliminary quake parameters, hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 1,000km of the natural disaster epicenter", warned the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC), saying waves could reach between one and three metres high.

No #tsunami threat to Australia from mag. 7.5 #earthquake near southeast of Loyalty Islands.

An evacuation order has been issued in New Caledonia after tsunami waves were spotted following a 7.6 magnitude natural disaster.

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"The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management has assessed the information with the assistance of scientific advisors".

New Caledonia is a French territory in the South Pacific.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center confirmed tsunami waves had been observed following the quake.

A spokesman for French mining and metals group Eramet - which operates a nickel plant in the harbour of Noumea, the territory's capital - said it had enacted a tsunami alert process.

The tsunami waves were observed at Maré Island in New Caledonia and Lenakel in Vanuatu.

Civil defence officials in Noumea said tsunami waves hit parts of the Loyalty Islands and the Isle of Pines, but caused no damage.

The Ring of Fire refers to a string of volcanoes, natural disaster sites and tectonic plates around the Pacific.

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