South Pacific hit by strong quake

The US Geological Survey reported that a powerful magnitude 7.8 earthquake rocked the South Pacific near the Vanuatu archipelago, triggering a regional tsunami alert.

The US Geological Survey reported that a powerful magnitude 7.8 earthquake rocked the South Pacific near the Vanuatu archipelago, triggering a regional tsunami alert.

The quake, which struck Thursday local time 183 miles northwest of the Vanuatu island of Santo, and 354 miles northwest of the capital of Port Vila, was at a depth of 21 miles.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre immediately issued a regional tsunami warning.

There were no immediate reports of injury or damage from officials in Vanuatu, a collection of nearly 200 islands.

The latest warning comes just two weeks after a quake of magnitude 8.3 rocked the South Pacific near Samoa, sparking tsunami waves that killed at least 180 people and devastated coastal villages in Samoa, American Samoa and in northern Tonga.

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