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Tsunami warning cancelled after Pacific quakes: centre

A tsunami warning issued after two powerful earthquakes struck the South Pacific has been cancelled, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said on Thursday.

world Updated: Oct 08, 2009 07:09 IST

A tsunami warning issued after two powerful earthquakes struck the South Pacific has been cancelled, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said on Thursday.

The warning was issued after a 7.8 magnitude quake followed by a 7.1 tremor near the Vanuatu archipelago, which forced residents across the region to flee to higher ground.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued an alert, a week after a tsunami spawned by a major quake killed at least 184 people in the Samoan islands and Tonga.

But the Hawaii-based center withdrew the alert about two and a half hours after the first quake hit.

"When no major waves are observed for two hours after the estimated time of arrival or damaging waves have not occurred for at least two hours, then local authorities can assume the threat is passed," the center said.

The alert had been issued for more than 30 countries and territories, including Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Nauru, Fiji, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Kiribati, Kosrae and Wallis and Futuna.