Magnitude 6.2 earthquake rumbles deep below earth's surface near Vanuatu

A powerful earthquake rumbled deep below the earth's surface near the Pacific island of Vanuatu early Wednesday. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck 164 kilometers (102 miles) below the seabed off the coast of Vanuatu at 05:03 a.m. local time (1803 GMT), the U.S. Geological Survey said in a statement.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center at Ewa Beach, Hawaii did not issue a tsunami warning for the quake, which was centered about 150 kilometers (93 miles) southeast of Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila.

Vanuatu's director of Geology and Mines, Chris Ioan, said there were "no reports ... of any destruction" from the temblor.

The quake struck about 10 kilometers (6.3 miles) off the coast of Erromango Island and deep below the surface, but "so far we have no reports of damage or injury from the island," or any threat of a tsunami, Ioan told The Associated Press from his office in the capital.

He added that Erromango Island has been out of telephone contact "for a while now," and said he was waiting for a report after a scheduled flight to the island later Thursday, or from the provincial headquarters on the island of Tanna, half way between Erromango and Port Vila, reports AP.

Vanuatu, formerly the New Hebrides Islands, is made up of 13 main islands located about 1,400 miles (2,253 kilometers) east of Australia. The archipelago nation is part of the Pacific "ring of fire," and earthquakes of this magnitude are common in the region.

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