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Magnitude 7.2 earthquake briefly triggers Pacific tsunami alert

Magnitude 7.2 earthquake briefly triggers Pacific tsunami alert
Authorities issue but then cancel warning after undersea quake struck 330 miles off Vanautu

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 struck about 330 miles (535km) south-east of the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu on Friday, the US Geological Survey said, briefly triggering a local tsunami warning, the Guardian reports.

There were no initial reports of casualties or damage.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a temporary warning for areas close to the quake, although there was no Pacific-wide threat of a tsunami, the Hawaii-based centre said. The shallow quake was measured at a depth of about six miles (10km).

A tsunami warning was briefly issued, but then cancelled.

The quake was initially given a magnitude of 7.6 but later downgraded.

The powerful quake triggered at least one aftershock, with a magnitude of 5.4, the USGS said.

It should be recalled that magnitude 4.6 earthquake hit the south part of east Ukrainian Donetsk region about 11:15 on early August 7, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).

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