A strong earthquake has struck in the Pacific Ocean near New Caledonia but experts say there isn’t a tsunami threat.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the magnitude 7.1 quake hit Wednesday afternoon about 230 kilometres east of Tadine in New Caledonia’s Loyalty Islands.
The quake was about 290km from Isangel in Vanuatu. The USGS says it was about 26km deep.
There are no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says it does not expect a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami and there is no threat to Hawaii.
New Caledonia and Vanuatu sit on the Pacific’s ‘Ring of Fire’, an arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes and volcanoes are common.
The New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management have said there is no tsunami threat to New Zealand.
Earlier in the same day, a magnitude 4.4 earthquake rattled a wide area of Southern California. But there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
The temblor struck about 7.33pm (local time) and was centered about 4.8km north of La Verne, a San Gabriel Valley city about 40km east of downtown Los Angeles, according to a preliminary report by the US Geological Survey.
It was followed a minute later by a magnitude 3.4 quake.
The quake was about four miles deep, but it was felt sharply near the epicentre.
Vickie Carillo and her son were sitting on the couch of their La Verne home, watching Jaws 2, when the quake struck. “It was like if somebody had grabbed it and was shaking the house,” Carillo told the Los Angeles Times.
Carillo said she screamed. Her family picked up their two Jack Russell terriers and ran outside, where they joined about a dozen neighbours.
“It was moving the whole house,” he told the Times. “It shook hard for what seemed like 10 to 20 seconds, and then it just kept going. It was really loud too, kind of like thunder. It just hit really hard and quick.”
The temblor made the water slosh in his swimming pool, Flores added.
The quake shook buildings for several seconds in downtown Los Angeles. It was also felt as a rolling motion dozens of miles away and as far away as the San Diego area, about 160km south.