The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting that a large 7.1 earthquake has struck the island nation of Vanuatu in the South Pacific. So far there have been no reports of major damage or injuries. No tsunami warning has been issued. The island, 1090 miles east of Australia and only 310 miles northeast of France’s New Caledonia, was rocked by the earthquake around 6pm local time. Vanuatu, home to just over 220,000 residents, is located within the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire,” an island chain of volcanoes and earthquake zones that account for 90% of the world’s earthquakes. Japan, also in the “Ring of Fire,” is struggling to recover from last year’s major earthquakes and tsunami that a nuclear disaster and vast destruction.
South Pacific earthquake zone a constant threat to U.S.
Although the earthquake near Vanuatu has not triggered a tsunami, the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire” has the potential to affect cities along the U.S. west coast. The earthquake zone extends to the states of California, Oregon, and Washington. Residents in high-risk areas should be well-versed in earthquake and tsunami emergency procedures. For more info visit California’s tsunami website.