Vanuatu, a tropical South Pacific Ocean nation that attracts tourists from all over the world, was struck by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake today, April 28. The tremor put a damper on all the vacationers who flock to the area to bed down in Five Star Resorts, many with over water bungalows and enjoy such sports as scuba diving in coral reefs, underwater caverns, and taking hiking tours to the rain forests and up volcanoes such as Mt. Yasur. Vanuatu is bordered by Fiji, New Caledonia, Australia, and New Zealand,Solomon Islands. According to the Telegraph the tremor sparked a tsunami warning that was cancelled after locals reported no significant damage. The United States Geological Survey said the 7.0-magnitude quake – originally reported as 7.3 – struck at a relatively shallow depth of 35 kilometres (21 miles) some 209 kilometres from the capital Port Vila.
There was no damage reported in the capital city of Port Vila but the Telegraph cited tourist resort manager Dave Cross as saying it was felt strongly on the island of Espiritu Santo. “We really felt the shake because it was so shallow, but all we lost was a vase and some flowers,” he told AFP. “I’m told there was a small wave, but that was the extent of it.” He added: “Earthquakes are just part of life here.” Vanuatu is part of the “Ring of Fire”, a zone of tectonic activity around the Pacific that is subject to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. There have been a series of temblors in the region this month.
TripAdvisor lists the top five resorts in Vanuatu, the most exclusive being Ratua Private Island which is accessible only by boat or light aircraft. Most of the resorts offer all-inclusive rates.