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Powerful quakes hit near Vanuatu in South Pacific

A series of earthquakes struck off the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu on Sunday, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage and no tsunami warning was issued.

The U.S. Geological Survey said a magnitude-7.1 quake struck at 3:55 a.m. (1655 GMT Saturday) at a depth of 25.2 miles (40.6 kilometers). Its epicenter was 39 miles (63 kilometers) south-southwest of Vanuatu's capital, Port-Vila.

The temblor was followed by several aftershocks, including a magnitude-7.0 quake that struck at 5:19 a.m. (1819 GMT) at a depth of 17.7 miles (28.5 kilometers). Its epicenter was 42 miles (69 kilometers) south-southwest of Port-Vila.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said no tsunami warning was issued.

Vanuatu, a chain of 83 islands, lies just over 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) northeast of Sydney. It is part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones stretching from South America through Alaska and down through the South Pacific.

A magnitude-7.3 quake struck near Vanuatu on Dec. 26, causing a tsunami a few inches high but no damage.