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Tsunami warning after 7.8 magnitude quake in Ecuador

A strong earthquake struck off the coast of Ecuador, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, creating the possibility of dangerous waves along the coasts of Ecuador and Colombia.

The quake, graded at 7.8 magnitude by the US Geological Survey, was centred just off the coast of Ecuador 107 miles from the capital, Quito.

"Hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are possible within 300 km of the epicenter along the coasts of Ecuador and Colombia," the warning center said.

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Japan quake: More than 200,000 people told to evacuate

More than 200,000 people have been told to evacuate their homes in the wake of a powerful earthquake that hit Japan leaving as many as 40 people dead.

Japanese authorities have issued evacuation orders to around 240,000 people amid growing fears of landslides and overcrowding at emergency shelters set up to house those affected by the 7.3 magnitude tremor.

Rescue operations launched following Saturday morning's quake are continuing in a desperate bid to find survivors in the rubble caused by the tremor but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has warned a government meeting that as bad weather continues efforts may be hampered.

He said: "The wind is expected to pick up and rain will likely get heavier. Rescue operations at night will be extremely difficult ... It's a race against time."

'People fear a bigger earthquake could hit any time'

An earthquake in Japan has left people in the vicinity in a "state of shock".

Joseph Fowler, who lives in Kumamoto city near to where the 7.3-magnitude quake hit, says the area is better known for volcanic activity.

Mr Fowler's apartment, which he shares with his wife, was left in disarray, something he described as a "terrifying" experience.

He compared Saturday's earthquake in southern Japan to a "war zone", and said people were scared a bigger quake could hit at any time.

At least 25 people are feared dead so far and many hundreds injured.

Volcano erupts as Japan quake death toll rises to 15

A small eruption has occurred at Mt Aso in the region where two strong earthquakes happened in southern Japan Credit: PA

A small eruption occurred at a volcano in southern Japan following a magnitude 7.3 earthquake.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency has kept its alert level at 2 on a scale of 5 for Mt. Aso.

The quake, the second in as many days in the region, has killed at least 15 people and left hundreds injured.

The natural disaster has also hit economic activity in the southern island of Kyushu.

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7.4-magnitude earthquake hits southern Japan

A 7.4-magnitude earthquake has struck near Kumamoto in southern Japan.

Japanese broadcaster NHK said a number of calls were coming in from residents reporting people being trapped inside houses and buildings.

The quake hit at a depth of 40km (25 miles). The scientific agency earlier reported a 7.1 quake with a depth of 7km near the same location.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami advisory, urging people to leave coastal regions but it was lifted 50 minutes earlier.

There are fears that some people may be trapped in collapsed buildings and rescue services are working through the night.

Tsunami warning issued after earthquake in South Pacific

A tsunami warning has been issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre after an earthquake struck off the coast of the South Pacific Ocean nation of Vanuatu.

The 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit 146 km off the north-northwest of Vanuatu on Sunday, according to the US Geological Survey.

The tsunami warning said wave could affect coasts within 300km of the earthquake's epicentre.

Indonesia issues tsunami warning after earthquake

The earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra

Indonesia has issued a tsunami warning after a powerful earthquake struck of the coast of Sumatra.

The warning is for West Sumatra, North Sumatra and Aceh after a powerful and shallow earthquake of magnitude 7.9 struck off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Wednesday, the National Meteorolgical Agency said.

USGS originally put the magnitude at 8.2, and then 8.1, before lowering it to 7.9.

Indonesia, especially Aceh, was badly hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.

The country straddles the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire", a highly seismically active zone, where different plates on the earth's crust meet and create a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes.

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