A massive M7.2 - New Caledonia and a M6.1 Fiji Islands are the 4th and 5th major quakes this month
A powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake has struck off the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.
The US Geological Survey said the quake was 535km (330 miles) southeast of Vanuatu island.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a local tsunami warning for areas close to the earthquake, though this was later cancelled.
There were no initial reports of damage or casualties.
Friday's quake initially registered with a magnitude of 7.6 but was later downgraded, reports the BBC.
Earlier a magnitude 6.1 South of the Fiji Islands was recorded as the nation celebrated their first ever Olympic medal after beating team GB in the rugby 7's final.
It brings this months total to 5 major quakes and brings the total to 85 for the year.
Are we experiencing an uptick in major quakes this year?
We have reached the half way point of 2016 and we have had a total of 72 major quakes, that is an earthquake of magnitude 6. or more.
42 is a steady average, 2015 had recorded 74 at this stage of the year and went on to record 146 for the year which is also average for the 21st century.
2014 had slightly more at this stage of the year with 84 but finished the year on 155.
Incidentally, I record every major quake on this blog and I had the yearly total at 82 major quakes, so it would be safe to say USGS have downgraded at least 10 quakes which were originally recorded at mag 6. or higher.
Thanks to: http://www.thebigwobble.org