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By RNZ News

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake has struck south-east of New Caledonia’s Loyalty Islands and a tsunnami warning is in place for several countries.

Geoscience Australia said the quake, which struck early this morning, had an epicentre 400 km east of the town of Tadine.

Seismic data indicates the undersea earthquake struck at a depth of 54 km.

Several aftershocks of up to magnitude 6.1 on the Richter scale have occurred.

The US Tsunami Warning System said hazardous tsunami waves up to a level of 1m above the normal tide level are possible for coasts within 1000 km of the epicentre with New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji particularly at risk.

Officials in American Samoa have cancelled a tsunami watch for the territory.

RNZ’s correspondent in Pagopago said officials reported no significant wave had been generated by the earthquake.

New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency is warning that coastal areas  could experience strong and unusual currents, and unpredictable surges at the shore.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said there is a tsunami threat to offshore Australian islands and territories.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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