Representational image from AFP. A powerful earthquake, measuring 7.1 on the scale, rocked Vanuatu, an island nation in the Pacific.
The tremor struck off the coast but didn’t trigger a tsunami, bringing relief to residents. No immediate damage was reported after the quake hit around midnight local time. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, after an initial warning, confirmed there was no longer a threat.
The quake startled people in the town of Isangel, with one resident mentioning it woke them up in the middle of the night. Despite the scare, there were no major issues, and by early morning, the situation calmed down.
While warnings were issued for precautionary measures, no damage was reported in the affected areas.
Vanuatu, positioned in an area known as the Ring of Fire, frequently experiences earthquakes due to intense tectonic activity. The country, home to around 320,000 people, faces various natural threats such as storms, floods, and earthquakes.
The recent incident in Vanuatu follows a similar quake in November, which registered a magnitude of 6.7. Authorities had then alerted about small tsunami waves detected by ocean monitoring systems. The region’s vulnerability to natural disasters is highlighted in the annual World Risk Report, where Vanuatu ranks high on the list of countries facing multiple threats.
Despite the potential dangers, there were no reports of significant harm from this recent earthquake. The island nation remains vigilant, given its susceptibility to natural calamities.