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A tsunami alert went out on Thursday, after a series of nine earthquakes near Vanuatu, with the largest of magnitude 7.8. It followed a magnitude 8.3 earthquake and a tsunami which devastated Samoa last Wednesday. A quake killed more than 700 people in Indonesia hours later.
A study made public this week found earthquake vibrations may affect faults at great distances. It found vibrations from the 2004 Indonesian earthquake may have increased the frequency of small quakes in California's San Andreas Fault by causing fluids to move into the fault lines.
Links between the Pacific quakes could not be ruled out, Mr. McCreery said