Magnitude 7.5 quake hits Vanuatu in Pacific: USGS

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 20, 2011 1:23 PM
Magnitude 7.5 quake hits Vanuatu in Pacific: USGS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A powerful magnitude 7.5 quake struck off the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

It said the quake, which struck at 3:55 a.m. on Sunday (12:55 p.m. EDT on Saturday), was centered 38 miles southwest of the town of Port-Vila and was quite shallow, at a depth of 25.2 miles.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the major quake had not triggered a Pacific-wide tsunami but said: "Earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within a hundred kilometers (80 miles) of the earthquake epicenter."

(Reporting by Sandra Maler, Editing by Vicki Allen)