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July 25, 2017

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6.2-magnitude earthquake rocks Vanuatu in S. Pacific

SYDNEY -- A strong 6.2-magnitude earthquake rattled the South Pacific island of Vanuatu Sunday, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage and no tsunami warning was issued.

The quake struck at 10 a.m. (2300 GMT Saturday) 500 kilometers (310 miles) northwest of the capital Port Vila at a depth of 35 kilometers, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The USGS had earlier put the magnitude at 6.6.

Vanuatu lies on the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire," a zone of frequent seismic activity caused by friction between shifting tectonic plates.

It has been rocked by several large quakes in recent years, averaging about three magnitude 7.0 or above incidents every year without any major damage.

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