A powerful aftershock hit off New Caledonia just hours after a magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck the Pacific region, which triggered a tsunami warning, authorities said.
The US Geological Survey said the new earthquake measured 6.6, downgrading it from an initial measurement of 7.0.
Earlier, a shallow and powerful magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck off the east coast of New Caledonia, with the epicentre reported some 300 kilometres east of Noumea.
The undersea quake was only 10km deep and about 155km east-southeast of the Loyalty Islands off New Caledonia’s east coast. Earthquakes are generally more destructive when the epicentre is near the surface. There were no immediate reports of damage from the two quakes.
New Caledonia, a cluster of islands home to about 270,000 people, is a unique collectivity of France. It sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic activity occur.
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