Magnitude 6.7 earthquake strikes near Vanuatu

A powerful magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck the Pacific islands nation of Vanuatu early Tuesday, but caused no injuries or damage, officials said. The temblor struck about 220 kilometers (140 miles) northwest of the capital, Port Vila, at 9:18 a.m. local time (2218 GMT) and was centered 149 kilometers (93 miles) below the earth's surface, the US Geological Survey said. Job Esau, the director of Vanuatu's National Disaster Management Office, said there were reports of injury or damage at Port Vila or any of the country's outlying islands. "There's nothing happening there," Esau told The Associated Press by telephone from the capital. "This happened in the middle of the ocean, between the islands, so no damage was done to the buildings ... nothing." Gerard Fryer, a geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center at Ewa Beach, Hawaii, said the earthquake was too deep to pose any major tsunami risk.