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Tonga: Tsunami warning lifted after major earthquake

November 11, 2022

A tsunami warning was issued following a 7.5 magnitude earthquake near the Pacific island nation of Tonga. The government warned residents to seek high ground and stay on alert.

Sand and trees
In January, a volcanic eruption and tsunami devastated TongaImage: Kingdom of Tonga/Zuma/picture alliance

A magnitude 7.5 earthquake was recorded in the sea off the Pacific nation of Tonga late Friday, according to the US-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The quake prompted a tsunami warning for Tonga and American Samoa that was later lifted.

"Based on all available data the tsunami threat from this earthquake has now passed," said the center said. 

It had earlier warned that "hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 300 kilometers of the earthquake epicenter."

The earthquake was at a depth of 24.8 kilometers (15.4 miles) and struck at about 211 kilometers southeast of the Tongan town of Neiafu, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Tongan authorities continued to advise residents to remain inland and on high ground.

Seismic activity is not uncommon around Tonga, an archipelago nation of 171 islands that is home to about 100,000 people.

Tonga experienced a large volcanic eruption in January this year, followed by a tsunami that flooded parts of the capital, Nuku'alofa. 

The surge wave reached a height of 2.7 feet (83 centimeters) in Nuku'alofa, and devastated parts of the island nation. The internet was knocked out for weeks after an undersea cable was damaged.

rmt/wmr (Reuters,AFP)