An earthquake measuring 7.3 to 7.8 on the Richter scale rocked the southern Pacific near Santo, Vanuatu Islands, Thursday, October 8, 2009. Thousands of people panicked and ran to the hills or a higher location for fear of a tsunami. But the big earthquake only caused a small tsunami, and so far there has been no reports of damage and casualties. The earthquake that occurred a week after an earthquake measuring 8.3 on the Richter scale followed by a large tsunami that killed 178 people in Samoa and Tonga Islands, South Pacific.
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center based in Hawaii issued a tsunami warning for the next regional countries and territories, including territories of Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, after the first earthquake 7.8 magnitude Ricther scale, around 294 kilometers northwest of Santo, Vanuatu Islands, Thursday morning . The quake occurred beneath the sea surface at a depth of 35 kilometers. Two other aftershocks, respectively 7.7 and 7.3 magnitude Ricther scale occurred in the same location