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6.1 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Vanuatu

Sydney (June 22, 2018): A powerful 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Vanuatu Friday, US seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

The quake struck at a depth of 21 kilometers (13 miles) some 30 kilometers west of the capital Port Vila, the US Geological Survey said.USGS said there was low likelihood of casualties and damage although it added that recent earthquakes in the area had caused secondary hazards such as landslides.

People in the region live in structures that are highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking, USGS said, although some resistant buildings exist.Vanuatu, with a population of about 280,000 spread over 65 inhabited islands, is regarded as one of the world´s most disaster-prone countries.

It sits on the so-called “Pacific Rim of Fire,” making it vulnerable to strong earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, while powerful cyclones also regularly lash the islands.

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