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Powerful quake rattles Tonga

world Updated: Oct 19, 2008 13:22 IST

A powerful earthquake hit near the South Pacific archipelago of Tonga on Sunday, but there was no tsunami alert and no immediate report of injuries, Australian seismologists said.

The 6.8-magnitude quake struck at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres (six miles) and hit east of the Tongan capital of Nuku'alofa, Geoscience Australia said.

An AFP correspondent said the Tongan capital shook for about two minutes but said she did not see any damage, and no tsunami alert was issued for the island nation.

"We've got it at a magnitude 6.8 and very shallow," seismologist Clive Collins told AFP. "There's been some light shaking in Nuku'alofa."