Authorities on the small island of Tangoa said the 6.3 magnitude shaking left residents there without fresh water.
“We have a problem with water, because here we live with rainwater that's collected into the crown well, so when the crown well is destroyed or damaged from the earthquake we have a big problem,” police inspector Paul Thomson told Radio New Zealand.
He also said that some landslides were triggered by the quake, and that cracks appeared in walls.
Residents of the capital, closer to the epicenter than Tangoa, said they felt the quake at 1:17 p.m. local time, but there were no reports of damage.
Powerful undersea earthquakes often occur near Vanuatu, but few ever cause damage or are even noticed by those living in the archipelago.