Quake of 7.0 Magnitude Hits Pacific Off New Caledonia, Tsunami Possible

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Monday's quake, initially reported as magnitude 7.3, struck at a shallow depth of 10 km (six miles) about 82 kms (51 miles) east of New Caledonia.

A magnitude-7.0 natural disaster struck Monday off the coast of New Caledonia, a French territory in the South Pacific Ocean, the US Geological Survey said.

There has been a cluster of quakes in the area between magitude 6.4 and 7 in the past 24 hours.

The US Pacific tsunami warning centre issued an alert for "hazardous tsunami waves of 0.3m to one metre", but later announced that the danger period had "largely passed", The Guardian says.

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There was no immediate news on damage or casualties.

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

Authorities in Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii said there were no tsunami threats to the coastlines of those countries. "Tsunami waves are forecast to be less than 0.3 meters above the tide level for the coasts of Vanuatu", the USGS said.

However, the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management says that their initial assessment indicates there is "no tsunami threat" there in the wake of the quake.

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