Tsunami warnings were issued to countries in the South Pacific on Friday after a 7.7 magnitude struck southeast of the Loyalty Islands in the French territory of New Caledonia.

Potential tsunami threats were issued for Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) said, while Australia's meteorology bureau said there was a threat for Lord Howe Island off its east coast.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake hit at a depth of about 38 km (24 miles).

New Zealand said it was still assessing if the quake posed any tsunami threats to its coasts.

(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Himani Sarkar)