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7.6-magnitude earthquake rattles Tonga

6.5 magnitude earthquake hits off Vanuatu capital: USGS
Source: Pixabay

A 7.6-magnitude earthquake rattled the Pacific island nation of Tonga in the early hours of Thursday but there were no reports of injuries or damage.

The quake struck at 1602 GMT about 100 kilometres (60 miles) off Tonga’s remote volcanic island of Niuatoputapu at a depth of 210 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said.

There was no tsunami risk, it said.

“We had calls early in the morning from people who felt it, but there have been no reports of damage,” said Gary Vite, chief meteorologist at Tonga Meteorological Services near the capital Nuku’alofa.

The quake was also felt some 360 kilometres from the epicentre in the Samoan capital Apia.

A spokesman for the Samoa Meteorological Service said “strong vibrations” shook the office near Apia but there had been no reports of damage.

Tonga and Samoa sit on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates often shift, frequently experiencing seismic activity.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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