21 Aug 2011

Vanuatu shaken by series of strong earthquakes

10:05 am on 21 August 2011

The authorities in Vanuatu say they have cancelled a local tsunami warning after a series of major quakes shook the island nation this morning.

The largest, centred 60 kilometres southwest of the capital Port Vila, had a magnitude of 7.1, and was 40 kilometres deep.

A number of aftershocks have been felt since the initial quake at five to five this morning, including one measuring 7.

Radio Vanuatu says many people in coastal areas headed for higher ground after the first quake in fear of a tsunami.

But the National Disaster Management Office says it has received no reports of damage and has cancelled a local tsunami warning advisory.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a warning for the wider region.