Magnitude-6.9 earthquake rocks Vanuatu Island

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A magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu on Sunday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The USGS said the quake hit at 7:23 p.m. local time (4.23 a.m. ET) off the island of Espiritu Santo, 407 kilometers (more than 250 miles) north-northwest of the capital, Port Vila.

It occurred about 81 kilometers (50 miles) north-northwest of the town of Port Olry at a depth of 35 kilometers (22 miles).

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially warned of a potential tsunami but subsequently said the threat had “now largely passed.”

Vanuatu is situated in one of the most seismically active areas in the world, and similarly sized temblors struck it in October and December.

Last year, the nation of some 270,000 people was ravaged by Cyclone Pam, one of the most powerful storms ever to make landfall.

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