Tsunami possible after 7.0 natural disaster strikes near France's New Caledonia

Tsunami possible after 7.0 natural disaster strikes near France's New Caledonia

A 7.3-magnitude natural disaster hit off the coast of New Caledonia on early Monday in the tectonically active Pacific region, tsunami warning was issued, the US Geological Survey said.

It was centred about 68 kilometres northeast of Tadine in what are known as the Loyalty Islands.

The quake struck the Loyalty Islands on Monday about 11.45am (NZT) at a depth of about 25km.

However an alert from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said: "Hazardous tsunami waves from this quake are possible within 300 km of the epicenter along the coasts of Vanuatu and New Caledonia".

The PTWC warned of "possible" hazardous waves within 300 kilometres of the epicentre.

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Civil Defence says there is no current tsunami threat to New Zealand.

"Tsunami waves have been observed", the agency said.

Local NCI broadcaster reported the evacuation was ordered for coastal areas in New Caledonia and the southern provinces of the Vanuatu archipelago, located north of the epicenter.

Waves up to one meter higher than the high tide marks are estimated to occur in New Caledonia, with actual altitudes varying depending on the shoreline.

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