6.8 Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Tonga and Pacific

NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga, Nov. 24 (UPI) — A strong earthquake struck in the Pacific close enough to Tonga to wake dogs and rattle dishes in the capital city nearly 100 miles away.

The earthquake measured 6.8 on the Richter scale, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It hit just before 2 a.m. Wednesday morning local time.

The epicenter of the quake was about 85 miles east-northeast of Nuku’alofa and 1,300 miles northeast of Auckland, New Zealand.

While there were no reports of any damage, the earthquake was felt in parts of the Tonga Archipelago, Mantangi Tonga reported. Buildings shook and dogs barked.

The earthquake was followed within an hour by two smaller ones, also offshore, one measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale and the other 5.1.

In late September, a quake measuring 8 on the Richter scale hit between Samoa and Tonga, triggering tsunamis that killed nearly 200 people, mostly in Samoa.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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