NOUMEA – A shallow and powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck off New Caledonia Wednesday prompting a tsunami alert and evacuations on the Pacific island, authorities said.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said that tsunami waves had been “observed” in the region but did not give a specific location.
New Caledonia lies north of New Zealand, residents received text messages telling them to find refuge immediately, waves were predicted to be 3 meters waves the warning centre said.
People living in nearby Vanuatu said they did not feel the earthquake and that tsunami warning were not heard immediately after.
“Hazardous tsunami waves are forecast for some coasts,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, after earlier warning that the danger zone included “coasts located within 1000 kilometres of the earthquake epicentre.”
The epicentre was about 300 kilometers east of Noumea. Several aftershocks were reported after the quake and waves have reached three meters high.
Photo credit- George Herald