A strong earthquake struck the South Pacific Island Nation of Vanuatu on April 3. The threat of subsequent potential tsunami had now largely passed, authorities say.

According United States Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake that struck the islands, was originally measured with a magnitude of 7.2, but later revised to magnitude 6.9.

The shock was felt 7:23 p.m. local time (4:23 a.m. EST) on the island of Espiritu Santo, which is only 407 kilometers (253 miles) north-northwest of its capital, Port Vila.

The quake has a depth of 35 kilometers (22 miles), 80 kilometers (50 miles) of north-northwest of Port Orly.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) earlier said that there are possible tsunami about 299 kilometers (186 miles) from the epicenter of the earthquake, but later said that threats had "now mostly passed."

"Based on all data available ... the tsunami threat from this earthquake has now mostly passed," said Kanoa Koyanagi, geophysicist at the PTWC.

Vanuatu Meteorological Services also reported that there have been no damages caused by the earthquake.

Dr. Anna Romero, who is staying at a hotel near Luganville, Espiritu Santo, said that she felt the tremor, but did not see any signs of damage.

Vanuatu sits within the pacific ring of fire, where seismic activities are common. Active volcanoes and cyclones are also commonly experienced in the location. Vanuatu is ranked as the most at-risk nation for natural disasters in the world, according to a report (PDF) by United Nations University.

In 2015, Cyclone Pam destroyed more than 90 percent of Port Vila's buildings and killed almost half a dozen people. Prior to this earthquake, the nation was also struck by a 7.3-magnitude in October and a 6.3-magnitude in December, both without any recorded damage.

Vanuatu has a population of 270,000, of which 44,000 are living in Port Vila.

Photo: Phillip Capper | Flickr

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