Tsunami warning for Vanuatu, New Caledonia after massive 7.0 magnitude quake

BREAKING: Massive 7.3 earthquake sparks TSUNAMI warning in Australia

A 7.0 magnitude natural disaster struck in the South Pacific off the Loyalty Islands, part of French territory of New Caledonia, on Sunday, and tsunami waves have been observed, the US Geological Service (USGS) said.

The tremor hit at a depth 25 kilometres some 85 kilometres to the east of the lightly populated Loyalty Islands, initial data from the survey said.

"We are a little bit scared, we have had an quake last night and today it was quite a big one", said Wayan Rigault, communications manager at Hotel Nengone Village on the island of Mare, told Reuters. This quake was the second major tremor hits in less than 24 hours.

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Rigault said there was no immediate damage, but guests were on alert for a formal evacuation warning.

By midnight (7pm EST) the PTWC said in a statement the tsunami threat had "largely passed", instructing to follow local authorities' instruction as "minor sea fluctuations may continue over the next few hours". The Tsunami waves which observed by the Pacific Warning centre is as high as one metre above the high tide mark are forecast to hit New Caledonia.

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