The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning or watch for more than 30 nations, including Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, Indonesia and the Philippines as a result of a new earthquake in the South Pacific area.
New Zealand authorities said any wave was unlikely to be destructive along the country’s coast line.
A tsunami watch for Australia’s Queensland state was canceled after no threatening waves were observed, the country’s Bureau of Meteorology said.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said it expected “slight sea level changes” in waters off Japan because of the quake.
Residents in Vanuatu, including the capital, Port Vila, raced to higher ground after the alert, Agence France-Presse reported.
Vanuatu is in a zone where the Pacific and Indo-Australian plates meet. These tectonic plates constantly shift, sometimes causing earthquakes that can trigger tsunamis. Earthquakes of magnitude 5 or more can cause considerable damage, depending on their depth.
Authorities in New Caledonia evacuated schools and ordered people away from the coast, Bloomberg reports.