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Tsunami warning issued after strong quake in Pacific

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The quake struck near the Vanuatu Islands
  • It was a 7.6-magnitude quake
  • Hawaii is not included in the warning

(CNN) -- A 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck in the Pacific Ocean's Vanuatu Islands region early Sunday, prompting a tsunami warning for the area, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake struck 135 kilometers (85 miles) west of the island of Tanna, Vanuatu and 1,740 kilometers (about 1,100 miles) off Australia's eastern coast just after midnight local time (8:16 a.m. ET).

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a regional warning for a part of the Pacific, including Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji.

"An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines in the region near the epicenter within minutes to hours," the center said. "Authorities in the region should take appropriate action in response to this possibility."

The tsunami warning did not include the U.S. state of Hawaii, though some coastal areas of the islands could experience very rough seas and strong currents.

 
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