UPDATE: 2.00 a.m. EST – Reports said the tsunami warning has been extended to as far as Fiji.
Eric Backes, director of civil defense authority, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, said, “We activated the alert sirens… along the east coast and all the Loyalty Islands. People should move away from the coastline and to higher ground or go to the evacuation points set up in each commune.”
The USGS modeling said there were no initial reports of damages from the earthquake.
A powerful 7.5 magnitude undersea earthquake hit off the east coast of New Caledonia on Wednesday morning, triggering a tsunami warning.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGC), the quake occurred about 168km of east-southeast of Tadine, New Caledonia. It was at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6.21 miles).
“Hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are possible within 1,000 km (600 miles) of the epicenter along the coasts of Vanuatu and New Caledonia,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) said.
The Guardian reported a tsunami warning was issued by the New Caledonian high commission for all of New Caledonia. An “immediate evacuation” was also ordered for people. The PTWC has asked people staying in the threatened coastal areas to “stay alert for information.”
There is, however, no tsunami threat to neighboring New Zealand.
The PTWC issued tsunami wave warnings for Anatom Island and Esperitu Santo in Vanuatu and Noumea in New Caledonia and also warned the waves could reach up to three meters high. Directorate for Civil Protection and Risk Management of New Caledonia (DSCGR) warned, “If you don’t have time to prepare your evacuation, get more than 300m away from the coast and/or get to a height of more than 12m.”
This is a developing story.