updated 8/12/2008 8:24:54 PM ET 2008-08-13T00:24:54

A strong earthquake struck near the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, but there were no immediate reports of damage and no tsunami warning was issued.

The magnitude 6.2 quake was centered 290 miles northwest of the key city of Luganville on the island of Espiritu Santo, officials at the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Vanuatu is part of the Pacific "ring of fire" — an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones stretching from Chile in South America through Alaska and down through Vanuatu to Tonga in the South Pacific.

Vanuatu is made up of 83 islands and lies just over 1,400 miles northeast of Sydney, Australia.

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