21 Aug 2011

Big earthquakes shake Vanuatu

12:20 pm on 21 August 2011

A series of large earthquakes off the coast of Vanuatu has caused landslides on the island nation, but no injuries have been reported.

A magnitude 7.1 quake struck at 3.55am on Sunday, centred about 60 kilometres southwest of the capital, Port Vila, at a depth of 40 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said. It earlier reported the quake as 7.5 magnitude.

Several aftershocks followed, the strongest of which was a 7.0 tremor two hours later.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said no Pacific-wide tsunami threat existed.

Radio Vanuatu reporter Alain Simeon said the shake was felt strongly and some people moved to higher ground, while the National Disaster Management Office appealed to those in coastal areas to be careful in case of tsunami waves.

The National Disaster Management Office later cancelled a local tsunami warning advisory.