The quake was later downgraded to a 5 on the Richter scale. A magnitude 5 earthquake on means it was moderate and slight damage to buildings and other structures may be possible. The quake hit east of the Loyalty Islands near New Caledonia in the South Pacific on Friday, the USGS said.

It struck at a depth of 26km (16miles) about 189km (117miles) east-southeast of Tadine in the Loyalty Islands.

There were no immediate warnings from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC).

It follows a powerful 7.6 earthquake that hit near New Caledonia on Wednesday.

The Ring of Fire region is a horseshoe shape of tectonic plates and volcanoes, which snakes around the globe.

READ MORE: Is it safe to travel to New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji after quake?

It is where many earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions occur, making it one of the most volatile areas on the planet in terms of natural disasters.

The eastern margin of the Australia plate is one of the most seismically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. 

The Loyalty Islands are an archipelago in the Pacific.

They are part of the French territory of New Caledonia, which is a popular tourist hotspot owing to its stunning natural beauty and ample coastline.

On Wednesday, December 5, a huge earthquake rocked the area, sparking mass evacuations as tsunami waves were observed out to sea.

The PTWC confirmed tsunami waves reaching one to three metres above tide level were possible for some coasts of New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

But the risk has now passed and no further threats have been issued as a result of the latest quake.

There have also been no reports of damage or causalities.