A strong earthquake of 7.6-magnitude on the richter scale has hit off the coast of the French territory of New Caledonia in the South Pacific at a shallow depth, prompting a tsunami warning up to 1,000 km (600 miles) away.
The quake struck some 168.2 km (104.5 mi) from the small town of Tadine of the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported.
Tsunami alerts have been issued for both New Caledonia and nearby Vanuatu, a state in the South Pacific consisting of some 80 islets with a population of 270,000 people, RT news reported.
The depth of the quake is just 10 km (6.2 mi), meaning that is it prone to causing “hazardous tsunami waves” as forecast by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
“Tsunami waves reaching 1 to 3 meters above the tide level are possible along some coasts of New Caledonia and Vanuatu,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned.
The alert has been extended to Fiji, where the tsunami waves reaching up to 1 meters are expected.
Ripples of less than 0.3 meters can be observed off the coasts of an array of states and territories, including in the US, such as Guam and Hawaii, as well as in Australia and Japan.