Earthquake of strength of 5.7 Richter shakes Tonga today

July 16th, 2008 - 4:57 pm ICT by Bupha Ravirot  

An earthquake magnitude 5.7 hits Tonga at Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 08:11:07 UTC (09:11:07 local time)

The epicenter of the earth quake was located at 16.558°S, 173.032°W at a depth of 33.5 km. The epicenter of the earth quake is 100 km SE from Hihifo, 250 km NNE from Neiafu and 560 km NNE from Nuku’Alofa, of Tonga and 2550 km NNE from Auckland, New Zealand.

The Kingdom of Tonga is an archipelago in the south Pacific Ocean comprising 169 islands, 36 of them inhabited, stretching over a distance of about 800 kilometres (500 miles) in a north-south line. The islands lie south of Samoa and are about one-third of the way from New Zealand to Hawaii.

Tonga is the only surviving monarchy among the island nations of the Pacific Ocean, as well as being the only island nation never to have been formally colonized.

The 2006 Tonga earthquake occurred on 4 May 2006 with a strength of 7.9 but there were no reports of death or injury. It was the strongest quake since the 28 March 2005 Sumatra earthquake following from the infamous 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.

Again in the year 2007, earthquake occurred in Tonga on 9 December 2007. NOAA rated a strength of 7.9 on the Richter scale, and USGS at 7.6. But there were no reports of damage, death or injury.

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