A powerful earthquake struck the Pacific Ocean near the island nation of Vanuatu on Thursday, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
The quake measured a magnitude of 7.1 on the Richter scale. The quake, which hit at 13:34 GMT, was at a shallow 10 kilometers depth said the United States Geological Survey. It was centered 122 kilometers west of Port-Vila, the capital of Vanuatu. Based on historical data, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that there was no threat of a widespread destructive tsunami.
Vanuatu is on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent and large earthquakes. In August 2011, two powerful earthquakes measuring 7.1 and 7.4 on the Richter scale struck about 63 kilometers south-southwest of Port-Vila.