NEW CALEDONIA (CBS SF) — A massive 7.2 earthquake has struck the island nation of New Caledonia, in the South Pacific.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake struck at 6:26 p.m. on Thursday, about 68 miles east of the Hunter Islands, an uninhabited island about 180 miles form New Caledonia.

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The National Weather Service tweeted of a possible tsunami threat within 1000 kilometers of the quake, but no where else. That area could encompass the Samoan islands, Fiji, and Fiji but did not include Hawaii or Australia.

At 6:56 p.m. the tsunami threat warning was called off, but people were told to “remain observant and exercise normal caution near the sea.”

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Early reports indicated the quake had a magnitude of 7.6, but it was downgraded to 7.2.

There have been several big aftershocks in the same area. The strongest two had a magnitude of 5.2 and 5.4.

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The area is part an arc of active faults in the Pacific Ocean known as the “Ring of Fire.”