9 Jan 2023

Magnitude 7 earthquake hits Vanuatu

8:18 am on 9 January 2023
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The quake was centred at Port Olry. Photo: 123RF

A 7 magnitude earthquake has struck Vanuatu, the US Geological Survey reports.

The quake was centred 40km west of Port Olry at a depth of 27.7km at 11.32pm local time (1.32am NZ time) on 9 January, the agency said.

The earthquake was at a depth of 10km, it said.

"Tsunami waves reaching 0.3 to 1 meters above the tide level are possible for some coasts of Vanuatu," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.

The tsunami warning for the region has since been withdrawn.

New Zealand Civil Defence posted on Facebook that the earthquake was unlikely to have caused a tsunami that would pose a threat to New Zealand.

Vanuatu sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc along the Pacific Ocean rim where many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.