A Tsunami alert has been triggered as a result of the powerful earthquake that struck off the coast of New Caledonia on Wednesday afternoon, local time.

The tsunami warning is in effect for the region including the southern islands of Vanuatu with reports of waves up to three metres high.

Local authorities are advising an immediate evacuation from coastal areas to higher ground.

“You should remain there until the local authorities give the all clear,” the Foreign and Commonwealth Office declared this morning.

The FCO warned that there is a risk the tsunami could reach Fiji,

“Anyone on low lying coastal areas should be prepared to move to higher ground, the FCO said in updated travel advice for the Pacific island chain.

“Please follow the advice of the local authorities and monitor media channels.”