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Strong 6.1 quake rattles Vanuatu

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake rattled the South Pacific island of Vanuatu Thursday, the US Geological Survey said, but it was not thought to have caused any damage or sparked a tsunami warning.

The shallow ocean quake struck at a depth of 15 kilometres (nine miles), 104 kilometres west of the capital Port Vila at 2.09 pm local time (0309 GMT).

Geoscience Australia put its magnitude at 5.9 and said it was unlikely to have caused any damage.

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 annually, none of which have caused any major damage.

ajc/ami

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130227/strong-61-quake-rattles-vanuatu