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Large earthquakes strike off Vanuatu but no Pacific-wide tsunami generated

A third, smaller quake rocks Vanuatu this afternoon

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 09:15 p.m. HST, Aug 20, 2011


The U.S. Geological Survey reported two large earthquakes this morning in the Vanuatu Islands in the southwest Pacific, and a third smaller one this afternoon.

The temblors poses no a tsunami threat to Hawaii, nor were they expected to generate a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The first, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake, occurred 6:55 a.m. Hawaii time, with an epicenter 1,149 miles east northeast of Brisbane, Australia. The second, at 7.0 magnitude, struck at 8:19 a.m, in roughly the same area.

A third was a magnitude 5.0, occurring at 2:09 p.m. today, also in the same area.

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center officials in Ewa Beach said while there was no threat of Pacific-wide tsunamis, earthquakes of this size can generate a local tsunami within a hundred kilometers of the epicenter.

There were no immediate reports of damage.

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