Pacific Ocean: Magnitude 6.6 earthquake near Tonga archipelago

Pacific Ocean: Magnitude 6.6 earthquake near Tonga archipelago
Pacific Ocean: Magnitude 6.6 earthquake near Tonga archipelago

Magnitude 6.6 earthquake near Tonga archipelago

Published today at 1:54 a.m.

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A magnitude 6.6 earthquake shook the Tonga archipelago in the South Pacific on Monday, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) announced.

The earthquake occurred at 9:47 a.m. local time (10:47 p.m. Swiss time on Sunday), at a depth of around 112 kilometers, according to the USGS, and less than 200 kilometers north of Nuku’alofa, the capital of the archipelago of Tonga. There were no immediate reports of damage in Tonga.

No tsunami

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the earthquake, which struck near the sparsely populated islands of Kao and Tofua, was not expected to cause a tsunami.

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Mary Lyn Fonua, a resident of Nuku’alofa who was at her workplace when the earthquake struck, told AFP that the two-story building she was in shook heavily for a few seconds.

“We were then evacuated to higher ground. The residents feel nervous,” she added. Earthquakes are frequent in this archipelago of 100,000 inhabitants located on the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, where the meeting of tectonic plates causes significant volcanic and seismic activity.

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