Massive earthquake hits Tonga, Tsunami warnings issued

March 20th, 2009 - 1:53 am ICT by admin  

A destructive earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.9 has struck the Tonga region and tsunami warnings have been issued.

The quake occurred at Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 18:17:37 UTC (March 20, 2009 at 06:17:37 AM at epicenter).

The Tonga earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.9, struck at a depth of just 6.2 miles which makes the quake much more powerful.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning has issued a tsunami warning for Tonga, Niue, the Kermadec Islands, American Samoa, Samoa. A tsunami warning has also been issued for Wallis-Futuna and Fiji after a massive earthquake shook the region.

Warning center says earthquake has the potential to create a “destructive tsunami” which can strike coastlines within minutes to hours.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii but coastal areas may experience small sea level changes.

More details of the quake available at USGS

Update from The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

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