7.8 quake shakes Tonga

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake shook the islands of Tonga early Thursday local time.

BY HEATHER MOYER | BALTIMORE | May 4, 2006


A magnitude 7.8 earthquake shook the islands of Tonga early Thursday local time.

No injuries were reported. Damage reports are sparse. The quake had prompted a tsunami warning for Tonga and many nearby islands - including Fiji, American Samoa and New Zealand. That warning was cancelled later in the day, with the only noticeable waves being about two feet higher than usual in Pago Pago and Niue.

Investigations are underway today into why some islands received no notice of the tsunami warning. Tonganese officials say the public did not receive notice of the tsunami warning due to power outages. The warnings were also not received or disseminated in nearby Fiji.

The Tongan Islands are in the extreme southeast portion of the Pacific Ocean. The quake struck 95 miles south of Neiafu, Tonga.


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