6.9 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Just South Of Fiji

Initial tsunami warning lifted; people all over Viti Levu report shaking

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 4, 2017) – A 6.9 earthquake has struck just south of Fiji at a depth of 17 kilometres.

The Pacifi Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) said the tusnami threat has now passed but people must remain observant and exercise normal caution near the sea.

The quake, initially recorded as 7.2, struck 221km southwest of Nadi just before 11am local time.

An aftershock of 5.7 at a depth of 10 kilometres has also been reported.

The PTWC said hazardous waves reaching up to one metre above tide level were possible for some Fiji coasts within 300 kilometres of the epicentre and urged caution as the impact could vary from one section of the coast to the next.

Sigatoka market vendor Deo Narayan said chairs were shaking and people started to panic.

He told the Fiji Times locals shopping at the market were alarmed and people wanted to go home but they were waiting for officials to update them.

At the Fiji Sun office at Walu Bay, staff felt desks and computers shaking for a good 10-15 seconds.

The Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources permanent secretary Malakai Finau told the Fiji Times people living in low lying areas should move to higher grounds as a precautionary measure.

RNZ newsreader Grant Walker is on holiday in Denarau and said he felt the earthquake but people around him seemed not to notice.

"We were by the pool, we were on the lounge chairs and they were shaking to which I turned to my partner and said 'yeah that's an earthquake'. No one else noticed anything, no chatter, no nothing."

Mr Walker said a warning was issued and people were told to evacuate off the beaches.

The Ministry of Civil Defence said there is no tsunami threat to New Zealand following the quake.

Radio New Zealand International
Copyright © 2017 RNZI. All Rights Reserved

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