14 Jan 2011

No reports of damage from New Caledonia quake

11:06 am on 14 January 2011

A powerful 7 magnitude earthquake struck off New Caledonia's Loyalty Islands early this morning, but there are no immediate reports of damage.

In a revised statement the United States Geological Survey lowered the magnitude of the quake after seismologists reviewed the event.

The earthquake struck at 3.15 this morning local time as a shallow depth of 4.6 kilometres, 125 kilometers northeast of Tadine in the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, and 135 kilometres southwest of Vanuatu.

A series of aftershocks, the most powerful measuring 5.9magnitude, rumbled through the area after the quake.

The crisis unit at the French high commission in Noumea has confirmed the quake was felt by the people in the Loyalty Islands but says there have been no reports of damage so far.

A holiday resort in the main village of We on the island of Lifou moved guests from beach bungalows to the main hotel building after the quake.

The resort says they have not heard of any reports of damge from the quake so far.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no warnings or advisories in effect following the quake.

The area has been hit by a series of powerful earthquakes and aftershocks since December 26 last year when a 7.3-magnitude quake which struck near Vanuatu.