Magnitude 7.0 earthquake hits near New Caledonia

A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 has struck near the external French territory of New Caledonia in the South Pacific, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reports. The epicenter lay at a shallow 15 km (9.3 miles) under the seabed, some 117 km (73 miles) from the town of Tadine on the Loyalty Islands with a population of over 17,000. The earthquake did not trigger a tsunami, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.