msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 12/25/2010 11:50:59 AM ET 2010-12-25T16:50:59

A tsunami warning was issued for the Pacific islands of Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji after a powerful earthquake struck Saturday, but then cancelled.

The U.S. Geological Service put the quake's magnitude at 7.6 and said it had hit about 85 miles west of the island of Tanna in Vanuatu.

It put the depth of the temblor — a key factor in how destructive it could be — at 15 miles.

The quake struck at 12:16 a.m. Sunday local time (8:16 a.m. Saturday ET), according to the USGS.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, and no more details were immediately available.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center had said a tsunami was possible based on the strength of the earthquake. It was not immediately confirmed whether a tsunami had occurred.

The warning area covered Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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