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Strong Earthquake Rumbles Near Vanuatu

October 3, 2006

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ A powerful earthquake rumbled deep below the earth’s surface near the Pacific island of Vanuatu early Wednesday. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck 102 miles below the seabed off the coast of Vanuatu at about 5 a.m. local time, the U.S. Geological Survey said in a statement.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii did not issue a tsunami warning for the quake, which was centered about 100 miles southeast of Vanuatu’s capital, Port Vila.

``There are no reports of injury or damage at this moment; no tsunami,″ Vanuatu’s director of Geology and Mines, Chris Ioan, told The Associated Press by telephone.

Vanuatu, formerly the New Hebrides Islands, is made up of 13 main islands located about 1,400 miles east of Australia. The archipelago nation is part of the Pacific ``ring of fire,″ and earthquakes of this magnitude are common in the region.

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