Pair of 7+ quakes shake Vanuatu; no Hawaii tsunami alert

VANUATU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.0 or higher struck the Pacific island national of Vanuatu Saturday morning.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach said a Pacific-wide tsunami was not generated.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the first quake had a magnitude of 7.1, and occurred shortly before 7 a.m. Hawaii time about 39 miles south-southwest of the Vanuatu capital of Port Vila. It was at a depth of 25 miles. The second quake of 7.0 magnitude occurred shortly after 8 a.m. Hawaii time, and was located 42 miles south-west of Port Vila, with a depth of 28.5 miles.

Four other smaller quakes were recorded between the two larger ones, ranging in magnitude from 5.1 to 5.9, according to the U.S.G.S.

Vanuatu is part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones stretching from South America through Alaska and down through the South Pacific.

A 7.3-magnitude quake struck near Vanuatu in December caused a tsunami a few inches high but no damage. A 6.5-magnitude quake in March also did not cause any damage.

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