The quake struck off the east coast of New Caledonia in the South Pacific. (Picture for representation)
A magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck off the east coast of New Caledonia in the South Pacific on Wednesday morning, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC), according to a report in Al-Jazeera. The PTWC said that tsunami waves have been observed in the region but didn't specify the exact location. According to the warning centre, text messages were sent to residents directing them to go to refuges immediately.
According to news agency AFP, residents in New Caledonia and nearby Vanuatu said they did not feel the quake. Tsunami warning sirens were not immediately activated in Vanuatu.
"Hazardous tsunami waves are forecast for some coasts," the warning centre said, after earlier warning that the danger zone included "coasts located within 1000km of the earthquake epicentre."
New Zealand's ministry of civil defence and emergency management tweeted that there was no tsunami threat to the nation's coasts. The US Geological Survey (USGS) also recorded a series of aftershocks, two of them at 5.9 magnitude. The Ring of Fire refers to a string of volcanoes, earthquake sites and tectonic plates around the Pacific. It spreads across 40,000km (25,000 miles) from the southern tip of South America all the way to New Zealand, the BBC reported.