(CBS News) – A powerful earthquake that struck in the southern Pacific Ocean on Wednesday sent jitters around the region after authorities warned of possible tsunamis, but there were no initial reports of destructive waves or major damage. The magnitude 7.5 quake hit in the afternoon near New Caledonia at a shallow depth, where earthquakes are generally more damaging. It was felt as far away as Vanuatu.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said tsunami waves of between 3 and 10 feet were possible along some coasts of New Caledonia and Vanuatu before later lifting the warning. Judith Rostain, a freelance journalist based in New Caledonia’s capital Noumea, said there was no damage to the city and that the threat of a tsunami appeared to have passed. She said the situation remained unclear on the east coast and scattered outer islands. READ MORE