Tsunami alert up

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NOUMEA, France — A shallow and powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck off New Caledonia Wednesday prompting a tsunami alert and evacuations on the Pacific island, authorities said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said that tsunami waves had been “observed” in the region but did not say where.

Residents of New Caledonia, which lies north of New Zealand, received text messages directing them to go to refuges immediately, with waves of up to three meters possible, according to the warning center.

But people in New Caledonia and nearby Vanuatu said they did not feel the quake, and tsunami warning sirens were not immediately activated in Vanuatu.

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