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Vanuatu Hit by 7.1-Magnitude Earthquake, No Tsunami Warning

A large 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu on Tuesday, but there was no immediate tsunami warning for the region.

The undersea quake was 16.5 miles (26.5 kilometers) deep and centered 171 miles south of the island capital Port Vila at 7:55pm local time, the US Geological Survey reported.

Earthquakes of this size usually shake buildings and have the potential to generate a small tsunami, but they rarely cause significant structural damage.

Vanuatu, which lies between Fiji and Australia and north of New Zealand, is in the "Pacific Ring of Fire" known for its high seismic and volcanic activity caused by friction between moving plates in the Earth's crust.