No tsunami threat to Hawaii after strong South Pacific quake; minor tidal changes possible

No tsunami threat to Hawaii after strong South Pacific quake; minor tidal changes possible

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There is no tsunami threat to Hawaii after a strong earthquake in the South Pacific, though minor changes can be anticipated.

The earthquake struck near the Loyalty Islands and New Caledonia around 6:25 p.m. Tuesday. Preliminary measurements say it registered as a 7.6 magnitude.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, “A tsunami threat exists for parts of the Pacific located closer to the earthquake, however, based on all available data, there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii.”

Shortly after, officials reported tsunami waves were detected upwards of 1 to 3 meters above tide levels for New Caledonia and Vanuatu. Fiji was also likely to get tsunami waves between 0.3 and 1 meters.

The effects for Hawaii and the greater Pacific are anticipated to be minor. The PTWC said tidal changes less than 0.3 meters were possible for Hawaii and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Those changes can be expected between 2 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

There were no initial reports of destructive waves or major damage in Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji.

The U.S. Geological Survey said this is the sixth earthquake of magnitude six or stronger in the past three months.

On Tuesday alone, after the 7.6 quake, two other strong rattlers were reported. About 10 minutes, a 5.9-magnitude quake shook the region, and just after 9 p.m., a 6.6-magnitude quake occurred.

These subsequent quakes also produced no tsunami threat to Hawaii.

This story will be updated.

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