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Strong 6.2-magnitude quake rocks Vanuatu capital

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Earthquakes Seismograph  (AFP Photo/Frederick Florin)

A strong earthquake struck Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila on Tuesday, with eyewitnesses reporting violent shaking and the US Geological Survey measuring a shallow 6.2-magnitude quake just off the South Pacific island’s coast.

“Wow, haven’t felt one like that in years. My heart’s still in my mouth,” local journalist Dan McGarry posted on Twitter, “very large lateral movement”.

Authorities said the quake occurred 90 kilometres (56 miles) west of the city at a depth of just 10 kilometres (six miles). According to the Pacific warning centre, there was no immediate tsunami threat.

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It was followed by two strong aftershocks of magnitude 5.5 and 5.7, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

Last week a much larger 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck the region, causing a small tsunami, which was felt as far away as New Zealand.

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