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A A TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE SOLOMON IS., VANUATU, AND NEW CALEDONIA
WASHINGTON, May 27 (Reuters) - A 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck 135 miles (217 km) northwest of Vanuatu in the south Pacific, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Thursday.
The quake struck at 1714 GMT, and was centered at a shallow depth of 12.4 miles (20 km).
USGS initially reported the quake at 7.5 magnitude.
It has rugged terrain, reaching up to Mount Gharat (797 m), the peak of the active stratovolcano at the center of the island. The most recent eruption was in 2010. The volcano has a 6 x 9 km caldera, within which lies a crater lake known as Lake Letas, the largest lake in Vanuatu. To the east of the lake is Siri Waterfall (120 m drop).
Mount Gharat or Mount Garet (797 m) is the highest peak on the volcanic island of Gaua of the Banks Islands in northern Vanuatu. The peak is located at the centre of the island, is volcanically active and is surrounded by Lake Letas on all sides except southwest.
Volcano Gaua status in 07/10/2009
Status: Historical Elevation: 797 metre
Last eruption: 2009
Alert Status: AlertLevel2, Eruption
Santa Maria Island is the top of Gaua, a stratovolcano. Gaua rises about 9,800 feet (3,000 m) from the sea floor. Steaming Hill Lake, a crescent-shaped crater lake, is just below Mt. Gharat, a secondary cone and summit of the volcano. Solfataras are on the south side of the volcano and hot springs are on the north slope. Map from Fisher (1957) after J.R. Baker. Gaua has had at least 13 eruptions from Mt. Gharat since 1963. The most recent eruption was in 1982 and lasted less than one day. Most of the historic eruptions have lasted only 1-2 days with the 1963 and 1973-1974 eruptions lasting a few months