10 Aug 2010

Vanuatu capital shaken by 7.5 earthquake

7:54 pm on 10 August 2010

Vanuatu's capital Port Vila has been shaken by a 7.5 earthquake, with residents advised to move to higher ground as a precaution after a 23-centimetre tsunami was generated.

Geoscience Australia reports that the quake, centred 40-kilometres north-west of the main island of Efate, struck at around 4:30pm local time at a depth of 60 kilometres.

There was no Pacific-wide warning issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.

Reports from Vila indicate the quake shook goods off shelves, forcing many shops in town to close early, but there were no immediate reports of major structural damage.

Residents say many people quickly fled to higher ground after the violent shake of less than half a minute.

Many remained on higher ground as aftershocks continued in the first couple of hours following the 7.5 quake.

Power and telecommunication lines do not appear to have been affected.

Officials have indicated that the full extent of the damage won't be known until tomorrow.