Updated: 12/6/2018 1:50:35 AM
Schools and houses on Vanuatu's southernmost island of Aneityum were damaged when a tsunami hit after yesterday's 7.5 earthquakes off New Caledonia. The owner of a tour company on nearby Mystery Island Benie Masauvakalo said a surge of water moved inland but people had fled to higher ground. He said schools and two or three houses had been damaged but no one was hurt. Sammy Chilia was on Mystery Island when the wave hit about 4 pm yesterday local time and people moved to higher ground and no one was hurt. "We did not get any warning," he said. The Vanuatu Daily Post reported the surge from the tsunami traveled inland about 200 meters to cause damage to the French Primary School in the village of Umeij, one of the island's main centers. The paper reported the surge brought down the brick wall of a semi-permanent classroom and caused damage to another classroom. It also damaged vegetable gardens and wiped out two homes next to the school. The paper also reported there was some damage to houses and taro patches in the village of Anelcauhat.
Updated: 12/5/2018 9:48:08 AM
Vanuatu's government released a statement saying it was not expecting a "destructive tsunami".
Reports from locals on Aneityum said waves came about 12 metres up the beach and damaged some gardens.
Further north, on the island of Aniwa, Issac Taseru told the ABC a few houses had been damaged but there were no injuries.
Updated: 12/5/2018 6:14:58 AM
U.S. Geological Survey warning center said there was no tsunami threat to Hawaii.
Small tsunami of 30 centimeters hit Lifou coast, but no damage or causalities and recorded.
“The excellent news is, we’ve had no accidents or injury,” mentioned Oliver Ciry, a spokesman for New Caledonia’s directorate for civil safety and threat administration. He added that irregular actions of the ocean off New Caledonia’s east coast and across the Loyalty Islands had been noticed earlier.
Neighboring Vanuatu additionally issued an evacuation warning.
In a press release, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center mentioned: “Hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are doable inside 1,000 km of the epicenter alongside the coasts of Vanuatu and New Caledonia.”
Civil protection service officials said, according to Efe, that two-meter waves formed on the Isle of Pines, causing minor damage. There are no reports of casualties. In Lenakel, Vanuatu, the waves were up to 72 centimeters high.
Published Wednesday, December 5, 2018
A very strong earthquake registered by the USGS as M 7.5 hit south of the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia at 04:18 UTC on December 5, 2018. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km. EMSC is reporting M 7.6 at a depth of 30 km.
According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 168 km ESE of Tadine and 254 km ESE of We, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia.
There are no people living within 100 km (62 miles).
Some 3 000 people are estimated to have felt moderate shaking, 154 000 light, and 206 000 weak.
The quake was preceded by M 6.0 at 04:14 UTC and followed by M 5.9 at 04:28 UTC, M 5.9 at 04:30, M 5.6 at 04:31, M 4.9 at 04:41, M 5.7 at 04:41, M 5.3 at 04:50, M 5.2 at 04:54, M 4.9 at 06:36, M 6.6 at 06:43, M 4.9 at 06:51, M 5.1 at 07:45, M 5.2 and 07:46 and another M 5.2 at 08:01. Aftershocks continue shaking the region.
Tsunami waves have been observed following M 7.5 quake at 04:18 UTC, PTWC said.
Based on all available data, hazardous tsunami waves are forecast for some coasts, the center said. Tsunami waves reaching 1 to 3 m above tide level are possible along some coasts of New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
People on the east coast have been told to retreat at least 300 m from the shore and to get to ground at least 12 m in altitude.
Tsunami waves reaching 0.3 to 1 m above tide level are possible for some coasts of Fiji.
"Based on all available data, the tsunami threat from this earthquake has now largely passed, PTWC said. "Government agencies responsible for any impacted coastal areas should monitor conditions at the coast to determine if and when it is safe to resume normal activities. Persons located near impacted coastal areas should stay alert for information and follow instructions from local authorities. Remain observant and exercise normal caution near the sea."
Minor sea level fluctuations of up to 0.3 m above and below normal tide may continue over the next few hours.
New Caledonia earthquake Facts
Affected Area: 300 km.
Alert Level: Orange
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