Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Tonga earthquake triggers tsunami threatening Tonga, Samoa and Fiji

The quake, which hit at 6.17 am local time (1817 GMT), was centred 130 miles south-southeast of the Tongan capital Nuku'Alofa and 300 miles southeast of Ndoi Island, Fiji.

It struck at a depth of 6.2 miles, the US Geological Survey said.

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A tsunami warning was issued by the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre for Tonga, Niue, Kermadec Islands, American Samoa, Samoa and Fiji.

"An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines in the region near the epicentre within minutes to hours. Authorities in the region should take appropriate action in response to this possibility," the centre said.

Local radio stations in Tonga broadcast warnings that a tsunami was possible and that people should move away from coastal villages, but police cited locals who said no big wave had been reported.

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