6.4 Quake Hits Tonga No Tsunami

A powerful subsea earthquake struck near Tonga and American Samoa in the South Pacific on Monday.

The 6.4 magnitude quake is the latest in a series of recent massive earthquakes to be recorded in the region, which is located along the Pacific Ring of Fire. No tsunami warning has been issued.

The epicentre of Monday’s quake, was located 73 km (45 miles) NNE of Hihifo, Tonga; 254 km (157 miles) SW of APIA, Samoa; and 326 km (202 miles) WSW of Pago Pago, American Samoa. It was recorded at a depth 35.4 km (22.0 miles), making it a shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Vanuatu, also located in the South Pacific, was struck by two large earthquakes during the last 24 hours.

A strong earthquake struck off the island nation of Vanuatu on early Monday morning, seismologists said, but there were no reports of damage or casualties. It comes less than a day after a powerful earthquake struck the same area.

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck at 8.44 a.m. local time Monday (2144 GMT Sunday). It was centred about 73 kilometres (45 miles) northwest of Isangel, a city on the Vanuatu island of Tanna.

On Sunday morning, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck about 122 kilometres (75 miles) south-southeast of Isangel. It came two weeks after two powerful earthquakes measuring 7.1 and 7.4 on the Richter scale also struck the region, generating a small tsunami but causing no casualties.

Vanuatu and Tonga are on the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent and large earthquakes. Volcanic eruptions also occur frequently in the region.

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