A 7.7-magnitude earthquake was recorded on Friday (19) in the South Pacific Ocean, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS, for its English abbreviation). A tsunami warning was issued for islands in the area.
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Alerts were issued for the regions of Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji and New Zealand but were later dropped. The sea was rough in some areas, but without giant waves.
The Vanuatu government has advised residents to seek higher ground. The archipelago consists of 80 islands and has a population of about 300,000 people.
The New Caledonian government ordered the evacuation of coastal areas after the warning. Later, the steering was suspended. About 270 thousand people live on the archipelago.
New Zealand’s National Emergency Agency has advised people on boats to return to shore.
On the other hand, Australia asked residents of Lord Howe Island to leave the beaches due to the dangers of strong waves or currents.
According to the USGS, the earthquake was registered in southeastern New Caledonia, at a depth of 38 kilometers, around 2 pm local time (midnight in Brasília).
The quake was followed by 14 other tremors that occurred within three hours, with magnitudes between 4.8 and 5.9, according to the USGS.
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