29 May 2010

7.2 quake strikes off Vanuatu coast

8:58 pm on 29 May 2010

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck 215 kilometres northwest of Vanuatu, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake struck at 4.14am Friday local time at a depth of 36 kilometres. No damage has been reported.

A tsunami warning was issued for Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia but subsequently cancelled.

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center duty geophysicist Barry Hirshorn says coastal sea level guages and buoys confirmed no tsunami was generated.

NZ Civil Defence to review procedures again

New Zealand's Civil Defence says it will review its tsunami warning procedures again after an advisory notice was not sent to the media on Friday morning.

After the quake, media including Radio New Zealand were told by telephone to expect an tsunami advisory, but it did not arrive by either fax or email. The notice was posted on the ministry's website.

Civil Defence director John Hamilton says the mistake was made by the Fire Service's northern communications centre, which has an after-hours contract to issue warnings.

New Zealand's handling of tsunami threats was overhauled after problems during the devastating tsunami in Samoa last September.