Huge quake shakes Tonga region of Pacific
A massive earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 rocked Tonga in the Pacific on Wednesday sparking and US monitors issued a tsunami warning for New Zealand and Fiji.india Updated: May 04, 2006 01:51 IST
A massive earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 rocked Tonga in the Pacific on Wednesday sparking and US monitors issued a tsunami warning for New Zealand and Fiji.
The US Geological Survey said a "great" quake struck at 4:26 am local time (21.56 IST) in the middle of the islands that make up Tonga. Eight is the highest level on its measuring scale.
The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center called on New Zealand and Fiji to take immediate action against a possible giant wave caused by the quake.
The epicenter was 155 kilometers south of Neiafu island and 160 km northeast of Nuku'Alofa, the main island, the USGS said.
The quake was recorded 16 kilometers below the Earth's surface.
"We have a tsumani warning for Fiji and New Zealand and for the rest of the Pacific we have a tsumani watch," said Pacific Tsunami Warning Center oceanographer Nathan Becker.
"That means a tsunami is likely and New Zealand and Fiji should take the appropriate action," he said.