There has been a violent earthquake near the New Caledonia archipelago in the South Pacific. The U.S. Earthquake Observatory USGS put the magnitude at 7.7 on Friday. The early warning system in the USA issued a tsunami warning – including for New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji. After initially talking about waves possibly up to three meters high in Vanuatu, the authority later put the information into perspective. She only expected waves of a maximum height of one meter in Vanuatu and 0.3 meters in other Pacific states, including Fiji.

The authorities in Vanuatu advised the inhabitants of the entire archipelago to take immediate precautions and move from coastal areas to higher regions. In New Caledonia, too, people were asked to leave coastal areas. A tsunami warning has been lifted, local media reported. Alarm sirens had previously been heard on the archipelago, which belongs to France.

The civil protection in New Zealand tweeted that it was monitoring the situation closely. "We anticipate that there will be strong and unusual currents and unpredictable coastal tides in New Zealand's coastal areas," it said. People should stay away from beaches and coastal areas. There is no threat to Australia, the local meteorological authority said.

According to the latest data, the quake occurred at a depth of 37 kilometers southeast of the Loyalty Islands, which are part of the French overseas territory of New Caledonia. About 18,000 people live on the islands of the archipelago. New Caledonia, with a population of 270,000, is located in the South Pacific, 1500 kilometers east of Australia and north of New Zealand.