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Vanuatu Tsunami Kills Five

An ocean-centred earthquake measuring 7.1 on the richter scale has sent a giant wave crashing over parts of Pentecost Island in Vanuatu about 1.10am today killing five people. John Howard reports.

The tsunami damaged one church building in a village called Ena. There were four men killed. In another village where the tidal wave hit, it took five men. One has been recovered dead and four are still missing.

The offshore quake was felt on much of the archipelago's more than 80 islands, but the worst hit island was Pentecost which has a population of about 12,000.

Emergency services are trying to get a helicopter to the island to assess damage. Austhorities fear the casualty toll may rise. Vanuatu has a total population of 190,000.


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