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Tsunami waves spotted after earthquake off New Caledonia


An evacuation order was issued in New Caledonia in the South Pacific after tsunami waves were spotted after a 7.6-magnitude earthquake.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said waves of between one and three meters were possible along some coasts of the island and Vanuatu, while waves of up to one metre were possible in Fiji.

People on the east coast were told to retreat at least 300m from the shore by the New Caledonia civil defence and to get to ground at least 12m above sea level.

However, there were no initial reports of any major damage and experts say the threat has now passed.

Judith Rostain, a journalist based in New Caledonia’s capital Noumea, said there was no damage to the city and that the threat of a tsunami appeared to have passed.

She said the situation remained unclear on the east coast and outer islands.

In Vanuatu, it was reported that the waves only travelled only travelled a couple of metres beyond the normal tidal waves.

According to the US Geological Survey, the quake struck about 104 miles east of Tadine at a shallow depth of six miles, followed by at least five aftershocks ranging in magnitude from 5.6 to 6.0.

Earthquakes generally have more destructive potential when the epicentre is near the surface and New Caledonia also sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where most of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic activity occur.

The French territory, comprising of dozens of islands, is around 1,500 miles north of New Zealand.

(c) Sky News 2018: Tsunami waves spotted after earthquake off New Caledonia