7.8-magnitude earthquake strikes South Pacific, triggers tsunami warning for Vanuatu, Fiji and Kiribati

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Hong Kong (CNN) — A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the South Pacific on Friday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, triggering a tsunami warning for nearby nations including Vanuatu, Fiji and Kiribati.

The US National Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami alert for coasts located within 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of the epicenter which lay between Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted that there was currently no threat of a tsunami for Hawaii.

Tsunami waves reaching up to 1 meter are possible along some coasts of Vanuatu, according to the US National Tsunami Warning Center, downgrading an earlier assessment that said waves could be 3 meters high.

Smaller waves below 0.3 meters could be expected in Fiji, Kiribati and New Zealand’s remote Kermadec Islands, the warning center added.

The earthquake had a depth of 38 kilometers (23 miles), USGS said.

New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency tweeted that it is assessing whether the quake “poses any tsunami threat to New Zealand.”

The quake was earlier reported to be at 7.7-magnitude but has since been revised up.

The South Pacific is one of the most seismically active areas of the world because due to high rates of convergence of the Australia and Pacific tectonic plates that are constantly pushing against each other, according to the USGS.

This story was first published on CNN.com, "7.8-magnitude earthquake strikes South Pacific, triggers tsunami warning for Vanuatu, Fiji and Kiribati."