Big quake strikes New Caledonia

A tsunami warning was issued after a powerful 7.0 magnitude undersea natural disaster struck the Pacific near the French territory of New Caledonia and neighbouring Pacific state of Vanuatu.

The quake was centered 82 kilometer northeast of Tadine on Mare Island, which has more than 5,600 inhabitants.

The quake struck the Loyalty Islands on Monday about 11.45am (NZT) at a depth of about 25km.

And the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has warned of the possible hazardous tsunami waves within 300 km along the coasts of Vanuatu and New Caledonia due to this quake.

Rigault said there was no immediate damage, but guests were on alert for a formal evacuation warning.

New Caledonia is about 2300km north of New Zealand. "Tsunami waves are forecast to be less than 0.3 meters above the tide level for the coasts of Vanuatu", the USGS said.

There is a chance that this could trigger hazardous waves within a 300km radius from the epicentre.

New Caledonia's civil security agency made no plans to evacuate coastal places immediately.

  • Tracy Klein