7.1 quake rocks Tonga - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

7.1 quake rocks Tonga

NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga (AP) - A magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck beneath the South Pacific today, shaking buildings in the nearest country, Tonga, for about two minutes. There have been no reports of damage or injuries.

Residents in the capital said they felt the quake shortly after 5 AM local time. Officials say it was centered 94 miles southeast of there at a depth of 20 miles in the Pacific ocean.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said earthquakes of such magnitude could cause destructive a tsunami within 60 miles of the epicenter. But it says "no destructive widespread tsunami threat exists based on historical earthquake and tsunami data."

Hours after the earthquake there have been no signs of a tsunami.

Tonga is near the end of the Pacific "Ring of Fire" - a geological fault line stretching from Chile, through Alaska to Japan and down the western Pacific to New Zealand and Tonga.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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