Pacific nation of Vanuatu shaken by magnitude-7.3 earthquake
The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, October 20, 2015 7:40PM EDT
WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- The South Pacific nation of Vanuatu was shaken Wednesday by a magnitude-7.3 earthquake, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake struck 335 kilometres (207 miles) north of the capital, Port Vila. It was a relatively deep 131 kilometres (81 miles), meaning it had less impact on the surface than if it had been shallower.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue any tsunami warnings.
Shadrack Welegtabit, the director of Vanuatu's National Disaster Management Office, said there were no initial reports of damage or injuries but he was still awaiting information from some of the outer islands closer to the epicenter.
He said people in the capital felt the quake as heavy and slow-moving, but it wasn't strong enough there to knock items off shelves.
Vanuatu sits on the Ring of Fire, the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes are common. The nation is also prone to volcanoes and cyclones, and was ranked by the United Nations University as the world's most at-risk nation for natural disasters.