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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Two strong earthquakes rock Vanuatu

Two strong earthquakes rock Vanuatu

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) at least two earthquakes with a magnitude 7.2 and 5.1 have rocked the island of Vanuatu.

The first 7.2 quake was recorded at 4:08 a.m. (local time), 55 kilometers (35 miles) east, southeast of Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu with a depth of 144.8 k.m. (90.0 miles). The second 5.1 quake was recorded at 47 k.m. (29 miles) east, northeast of Santo (Luganville), Vanuatu with a depth of 149.3 k.m. (92.8 miles) and it struck nearly one hour later at 5:07 a.m. (local time).

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued a tsunami bulletin for the first quake saying that "based on all available data a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami not expected," but that small waves could be expected locally near the quakes epicenter.

So far there are no reports of injuries, deaths or damage, but the USGS reports that damage could be "moderate to heavy."

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