Series of quakes rattle Vanuatu

02:54, Aug 21 2011

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

The US Geological Survey said a magnitude-7.1 quake struck at 4.55am (NZ time) at a depth of 40.6 kilometres.

Its epicentre was 63 kilometres south-southwest of Vanuatu's capital, Port-Vila.

The temblor was followed by several aftershocks, including a magnitude-7.0 quake that struck at 6.19am at a depth of 28.5 kilometres.

Its epicentre was 69 kilometres south-southwest of Port-Vila.

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

Vanuatu, a chain of 83 islands, lies about 2000 kilometres 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 December 26, causing a tsunami a few inches high but no damage.