Undersea 7.7 quake in South Pacific sets off small tsunami

Small tsunami waves were detected in South Pacific islands after an undersea earthquake early Thursday morning.

Waves of 10 centimeters (4 inches) were measured in Vanuatu and a smaller tsunami was detected in New Caledonia, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

Vasiti Soko, the director of Fiji's National Disaster Management Office, tweeted that the tsunami warning had been canceled and wrote: "Fiji we are safe."

The tsunami followed an undersea earthquake near the Loyalty Islands, which are part of New Caledonia. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was strong and shallow, at magnitude 7.7 and just 10 kilometers (6 miles) deep.

The Loyalty Islands archipelago is about 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) north of New Zealand and 1,600 kilometers (990 miles) east-northeast of Brisbane, Australia.

The islands sit along the Pacific "Ring of Fire," a horseshoe-shaped series of seismic faults around the ocean where most of the world's earthquakes occur.

This story corrects name to U.S. Geological Survey instead of Agency.

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