Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2008 00:41:09 +0100 (MET)
 
SYDNEY, Nov 4, 2008 (AFP) - A 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the south Pacific island of Vanuatu on Wednesday, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.   No tsunami warning was issued after the undersea temblor that the US Geological Survey said struck at 5:35 am (1825 GMT) 75 kilometres (47 miles) north of the capital city of Port Vila.   The USGS initially reported the magnitude of the quake at 5.9, but later upgraded the reading.   Police in Port Vila said no damage or injuries were reported as a result of the earthquake.
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 05:14:31 +0100 (MET) AUCKLAND, Dec 29 (AFP) - Weather experts Friday fear they have under-estimated the strength of day old Cyclone Zoe which was continuing to build in intensity as it headed towards the isolated Polynesian atoll of Tikopia. The Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) is also warning that Zoe will develop a sharp hook and could turn back toward Fiji's tourism-dominated western districts. Zoe grew out of a tropical storm early Thursday near Tuvalu and Fiji's Rotuma island. No damage was reported at the time but at midday Friday (midnight GMT) it was 800 kilometres (500 miles) northeast of Vanuatu's capital of Port Vila. It had winds of 176 kilometres per hour (95 knots) gusting to 213 kph (115 knots) with sea swells of eight metres (27 feet). It has been moving westward toward Vanuatu but JTWC said by Sunday it will be gusting to 278 kph (150 knots), making it a Category Four cyclone on a scale of one to five, with five the highest. JTWC say Zoe will continue to intensify, saying there had been an "underestimation of storm strength" while the weather system it was moving into was weaker than expected. Cyclone track records suggest that storms in the region develop a strong hook which, if it occurs, could take it back toward Fiji and on to Tonga. If the forecast path holds good the cyclone will side-swipe Vanuatu and the French territory of New Caledonia, before moving on toward New Zealand. Fiji's regional weather service has issued a warning for Torres and Banks Islands at the northern end of Vanuatu. The South Pacific's cyclone season usually starts around October 1 and runs to May, on average producing 28.6 cyclones during the eight months with December producing 3.4. Zoe is only the second cyclone this season, following Yolande at the beginning of December. It did no damage.
10 April 2000 PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - The tiny, financially-strapped Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu has cashed in on the alphabetic quirk that assigned it with the ubiquitous ".tv" Internet country code. DotTV has agreed to pay Tuvalu $50 million in royalties over the next decade for use of the country code. The Internet startup company intends to sell the rights to Web addresses ending in .tv, such as www.abc.tv or www.laworder.tv. "It's the most recognizable two-letter symbol on the planet," DotTV chief Lou Kerner said Friday. "When you marry 'dot' with 'TV,' you become something very meaningful on the Internet." In a test earlier this week, Kerner said, he sold 200 Internet names ending in dot.tv for about $300,000. See http://www.infobeat.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=2565549479-905
10 Mar 2000 SUVA, Fiji (AP) - Fire swept through a locked dormitory at a high school in the South Pacific nation of Tuvalu Thursday night, killing 18 teen-age girls and their supervisor, a government spokesman said. The fire was believed to have been caused by a student's candle that toppled over in the girls' dormitory at the Motufoua Secondary School. The dorm was an old wooden building whose door had been fastened shut and whose open windows were covered in wire mesh. The girls, ranging between 14 and 17 years old, were locked inside their rooms when the fire broke out, Radio Tuvalu reporter Diana Semi told Australia's National Nine News. Another 18 girls managed to escape the inferno by smashing down a door. See http://www.infobeat.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=2564870682-27b
No active cases were registered in 1989. One case was registered as of June 1997.
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