JANUARY 8, 2023
A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 has rocked the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.
It struck some 15 miles from Port-Olry, also hitting at a depth of 17 miles, the US Geological Survey said earlier today.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for coasts located within 186 miles of the epicenter.
‘Tsunami waves reaching 0.3 to 1 meters above the tide level are possible for some coasts of Vanuatu,’ a warning said.
There have been no immediate reports of damage to buildings or casualties.
But the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) has urged people to ‘move way from the coast and reach a higher place’ immediately.
Vanuatu is home to about 280,000 people and is prone to natural disasters.
There are about six active volcanoes as well as regular cyclones and earthquakes.
The country sits on the ‘Ring of Fire’, a string of volcanoes and sites of seismic activity around the edges of the Pacific Ocean.
According to National Geographic, roughly 90% of all earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire, and the ring is dotted with 75% of all active volcanoes on Earth.