Strong earthquakes up to 7.7-magnitude shake South Pacific north of New Zealand

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      A series of powerful offshore earthquakes have taken place in the South Pacific, in a region east of Australia, southwest of Fiji, and north of New Zealand.

      This significant seismic activity took place this morning in a region southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

      The largest measurement was a major quake measuring 7.7-magnitude at 5:20 a.m. (Vancouver time). The epicentre, at a depth of 10 kilometres (six miles), was located 415 kilometres (257 miles) east of Vao, New Caledonia, and 473 kilometres (293 miles) southeast of Isangel, Vanuatu.

      There were also four quakes registering 6.0- or 6.1-magnitude, while 17 others ranged from 4.9- to 5.7-magnitude.

      The U.S. Tsunami Warning System initially issued an alert at 5:28 a.m. (Vancouver time) for New Zealand, Fihi, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and other islands that hazardous tsunami waves were possible within the first three hours of the 7.7-magnitude quake.

      However, it later stated at 10:26 a.m. that the tsunami threat from this quake has passed.

      Emergency Info B.C. stated that, after evaluation, there wasn’t any tsunami threat to the B.C. coast.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.