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Back-to-back earthquakes hit Vanuatu as it braces for second cyclone



Back-to-back earthquakes have struck Vanuatu as the country prepares for its second major tropical cyclone in as many days.

A magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck 90km from Luganville in Vanuatu at 5am this morning with a second 5.4 magnitude earthquake 114km from the city at 6.30am.

No casualties have been immediately reported from the twin quakes.

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Two earthquakes and two cyclones hit Vanuatu

There was no tsunami warning issued following the quakes which struck 10km deep.

The pacific island has been placed under a state of emergency for six months as multiple disasters sweep across the country.

It comes as category 4 Cyclone Judy has swept across the country leaving parts of the capital Port Vila without power for days and many people in emergency evacuation centres.

There are reports of significant damage in the Tafea province in the country's south.

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Two earthquakes and two cyclones hit Vanuatu

The Vanuatu Business Resilience Council said it will work to provide support to impacted residents.

"We will mobilise our private sector cluster network of shipping vessels to support the government response to get urgent aid to the effected islands," the group said.

A second cyclone is approaching the country, Cyclone Kevin, and is expected to make landfall this weekend.

It will intensify to a category 4 on Saturday as it travels south-east.

"The Pacific island nation is still in the early stages of recovering from the effects of a previous cyclone, which made landfall earlier this week," US AID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance said.

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Two earthquakes and two cyclones hit VanuatuTwo earthquakes and two cyclones hit Vanuatu

Nearly 400mm of rain is expected to fall as the cyclone makes landfall.

Destructive winds of up to 120km/h with 185km/h gusts are also forecast.

The weather emergencies have forced businesses and schools to close and airlines have cancelled flights.

Located to the east of Australia and the north of New Zealand, Vanuatu is home to about 300,000 people.

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