Strong earthquake strikes off Fiji, briefly prompts tsunami warning

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A strong earthquake measuring 6.9 has struck the South Pacific Ocean off Fiji, briefly prompting a tsunami warning for the islands, seismologists say. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The earthquake, which struck at 10:52 a.m. local time on Wednesday, was centered about 225 kilometers (140 miles) southwest of Nadi on Fiji’s main island. It struck at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), making it a shallow earthquake.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) put the magnitude at 6.9, down from an initial magnitude of 7.2. Residents in Fiji reported feeling the earthquake though there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) immediately issued a tsunami warning for coastal areas and some evacuations were reported. The warning was canceled about an hour later after only minor sea level changes were observed.

Other details were not immediately available.

Fiji and the wider region are on the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire,’ an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin which is prone to frequent and large earthquakes.

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