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Subject ***STRONG EARTHQUAKE HITS VANUATU***
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[link to www.theaustralian.news.com.au]

A STRONG 6.2 earthquake hit the Pacific nation of Vanuatu and Indonesia's Sumatra island today, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Witnesses in Vanuatu said buildings shook heavily for 10 seconds, throwing items off shelves, when the quake struck just after 10am (09:00 AEST).

The US Geological Survey said the undersea quake hit 29km west of the capital Port Vila at a depth of 51km.

The epicentre of the quake which struck Sumatra at 6:10am (09:10 AEST) was located 135km south-east of the town of Bengkulu, on the western coast of Sumatra.

It was measured at a depth of 66.5km.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre based in Hawaii did not issue a tsunami alert for the region.

Vanuatu sits on the 'Pacific Ring of Fire', where a meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.
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