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SYDNEY, Oct 21, 2015:

A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck off Vanuatu in the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, but no tsunami threat was detected, seismologists said.

The quake hit at a depth of 131km about 335km from the capital Port Vila, the United States Geological Survey said.

“Based on all available data a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.

Government agency Geoscience Australia said the general threshold for an undersea earthquake that could potentially generate a tsunami was a magnitude of 6.5 and a depth of 100km.

Vanuatu is part of the “Ring of Fire”, a zone of tectonic activity around the Pacific that is subject to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The South Pacific island was jolted by a 6.8-magnitude tremor in late January and another of 6.5 in February, but there were no reports of damage.

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