7.1-magnitude quake jolts southeast of Loyalty Islands

In this file photo, people stand near damaged houses on the island of Lifou (part of the Loyalty Islands) on Jan 13, 2011, after Cyclone Vania, packing winds of 100 km/h and with gusts of 150 km/h, passed the island overnight. An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.1 jolted southeast of the Loyalty Islands at 01:51 GMT on May 20, 2023, the US Geological Survey said. (PHOTO / AFP)

SYDNEY – An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.1 jolted southeast of the Loyalty Islands at 01:51 GMT on Saturday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

According to the latest update from the USGS, the epicenter, with a depth of 36 km, was determined to be at 23.062 degrees south latitude and 170.456 degrees east longitude.

The US Tsunami Warning System said that the earthquake is with a magnitude of 7.4, and tsunami waves are forecast to be less than 0.3 meters above the tide level for the coasts of Fiji, Kiribati, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.

Actual amplitudes at the coast may vary from forecast amplitudes due to uncertainties in the forecast and local features. In particular, maximum tsunami amplitudes on atolls and at locations with fringing or barrier reefs will likely be much smaller than the forecast indicates, it added.

An aftershock with a magnitude of 6.5 hit southeast of the Loyalty Islands at 02:09 GMT, according to the USGS. Besides, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake jolted southeast of the Loyalty Islands as well on Friday at 02:57 GMT.