Page last updated at 00:40 GMT, Thursday, 8 October 2009 01:40 UK

Pacific tsunami warning cancelled


A Pacific tsunami warning issued following strong earthquakes off Vanuatu has been lifted, after only a tiny wave was generated.

The first quake with a magnitude of 7.8 was followed about an hour later by one of 7.1, the US Geological Survey said.

The first epicentre was 295km (180 miles) north-northwest of Vanuatu's largest island, Santo, at a depth of 35km (21.7 miles).

People had already begun to move to higher ground.

In Vanuatu residents evacuated low-lying areas and fled to higher ground. In New Caledonia, schools in coastal areas were evacuated.

More than 170 people died last week when a tsunami triggered by a quake hit Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga.

All three nations were initially included in a "tsunami watch" - a lower level of alert than a tsunami warning - but were later upgraded to the warning level, before the warnings were cancelled.

Earlier on Wednesday, a 6.7-magnitude quake struck off the Philippines, but no tsunami warning was issued.

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