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Strong earthquake near Loyalty Islands prompts tsunami alerts

A 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck off the Loyalty Islands.

The epicentre was 333.8 km east of Vao, New Caledonia and it occurred at 1:57 pm local time Friday at a depth of 37 kilometres.

As a result of the earthquake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center warned that tsunami waves were possible in Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and Fiji.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued a tsunami warning for Lord Howe Island.

For Vanuatu, tsunami waves up to three metres were possible. Waves between 0.3 to one metre were expected for Fiji, Kiribati, and New Zealand. Tsunami waves were observed.

There was no tsunami threat to Hawaii, the U.S. West Coast, British Columbia, or Alaska.

All alerts have since ended.

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