Sydney: An earthquake of 7.1 magnitude struck off the south Pacific island nation of Vanuatu on Tuesday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported. However, no tsunami warning was issued.

The earthquake's epicenter was 26 kilometres deep, 135 kilometres from Isangel in Vanuatu and 147 kilometres from the Loyalty islands, part of the French territory of New Caledonia, USGSC said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said "no destructive widespread tsunami threat exists based on historical earthquake and tsunami data".

John Servo, an official at the Vanuatu Meteorological Service, said there was unlikely to be any damage.    

"We felt it on Vanuatu, of course, but it was not strong," he said.

"There has been no tsunami warning and we don't expect any damage. It was too far away."

Vanuatu, which lies between Fiji and Australia, is in the "Pacific Ring of Fire", known for its high seismic and volcanic activity caused by friction between moving plates in the Earth's crust.


(Agencies)