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Big magnitude 7.6 earthquake hits New Caledonia

A powerful magnitude 7.6 earthquake and multiple aftershocks have struck off the coast of New Caledonia in the Loyalty Islands.

The first quake, which struck about 3.30pm AEDT, appears to have been shallow — at just 10km beneath the Earth’s surface.

At least five aftershocks also hit, ranging in magnitude from 5.6 to 6.0, within about 90 minutes.

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