Tsunami possible as 7.1-magnitude quake strikes Pacific Ocean

People look out toward the seafront from the Vierge du Pacifique in Noumea on 19 May 2023, after an earthquake hit the island. A tsunami warning in the Pacific has been lifted after a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck on 19 May sent many islanders in the region fleeing the coast. (Photo by Mathurin DEREL / AFP)

A 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Saturday in the Pacific Ocean to the east of New Caledonia, the US Geological Survey said, a day after a major quake hit the same area.

The epicenter was 35 kilometers (22 miles) deep and located about 300 kilometers (190 miles) east of the New Caledonian archipelago, it said.

Tsunami waves are possible for coasts within 300 km of the Pacific quake, according to US monitor.

Any tsunami waves are expected to be less than 0.3 meters (one foot), the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in its latest update.

The waves may reach the Pacific islands of Fiji, Kiribati, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna, it said, after earlier issuing a warning for coasts within 300 kilometers (185 miles) of the epicenter.

On Friday, a 7.7-magnitude quake in the same area sent people scrambling for higher ground on several Pacific islands for fear of giant waves. A tsunami warning was lifted hours later.

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