Dec. 5 (UPI) -- The southern Pacific Ocean near New Caledonia was hit by a magnitude 7.6 earthquake Wednesday, prompting a tsunami warning that was later lifted.
"Based on all available data, the tsunami threat from this earthquake has now passed," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported in its latest update. "Government agencies responsible for any impacted coastal areas should monitor conditions at the coast to determine if and when it is safe to resume normal activities."
The quake struck 88 miles east of Tadine, Loyola Islands, in New Caledonia at a depth of 6 miles at 3:18 p.m. Wednesday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Six aftershocks of 5.9, 5.9, 5.6, 4.9, 5.7 and 5.2 followed 10 to 36 minutes later.
New Caledonia, with a population of 268,767, is a French territory comprising islands in the South Pacific about 750 miles east of Australia.
New Caledonia is part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire" of seismic faults where most of the world's earthquakes and volcanic activity occur.