Earthquake strikes near Pacific island of Vanuatu

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck Tuesday near the Pacific Island of Vanuatu, the U.S. Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. The quake hit at 5:30 p.m. (0628 GMT) about 340 kilometers (210 miles) northwest of the capital, Port Vila, near the island of Efate, about 1,890 kilometers (1,175 miles) east of Australia.

Brian Shiro, a geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center at Ewa Beach , Hawaii said the earthquake's depth of 160 kilometers (99 miles) below the earth's surface meant there was no risk of a local or Pacific-wide tsunami.

"That's too small to be of much worry," Shiro said of the earthquake. "There's no chance of anything even locally." John Philip at the National Police Headquarters in Port Vila said there had been no reports of damage or injuries.

"We didn't feel anything," he said. Earthquakes of this magnitude are relatively common in Vanuatu . Another 6.2 magnitude quake struck the Pacific archipelago on Jan. 23 but caused no damage or injuries, reports the AP.

N.U.