7.2 magnitude earthquake hits off Vanuatu   2010-05-28 08:11:26 FeedbackPrintRSS

The file photo taken in 1993 shows the coastal view of Vanuatu. A 7.0-magnitude earthquake jolted the Republic of Vanuatu at 1:14 a.m. Friday, May 28, 2010 according to China earthquake authorities. (Xinhua/Wang Faen)

WELLINGTON, May 28 (Xinhua) -- A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck 215 km northwest of Vanuatu, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake struck at 4:14 a.m. Friday Vanuatu local time (17:14 GMT Thursday) and at a depth of 36 km. No damage has been reported.

A tsunami warning has been canceled for Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia after a quake struck near Vanuatu early Friday morning.

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center duty geophysicist Barry Hirshorn said coastal sea level gauges and buoys confirmed no tsunami was generated, Radio New Zealand reported.

New Zealand's Civil Defense Ministry said there was no threat to New Zealand

"Scientific analysis suggests that there is no threat to New Zealand, based on the earthquake magnitude, location and orientation to New Zealand," a ministry spokesman said.

Earlier the ministry said it was issuing an advisory notice and not a warning although earthquakes of 7.2 had the potential to generate a tsunami.

It briefly advised people in coastal areas to stay off beaches, out of the water and not to go sightseeing.

Meanwhile, the police in Luganville said there appears to have been no damage from Friday morning's earthquake. The police said the earthquake was quite strong and woke most people up.

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Editor: Deng Shasha

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