Tonga earthquake: Powerful 6.4 magnitude tremor rattles Ring of Fire danger zone

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
By Paul Martin

A STRONG magnitude 6.4 earthquake has struck off the coast of Tonga in the Pacific ocean, according to USGS.

By Joshua Nevett
DailyStar.co.uk
18th October 2017

The large quake struck at 12am local time (12pm UK time) around 62 miles south east of the village of Pangai, home to 1,800 people.

There were no immediate reports of damage from the quake that struck the region on Wednesday.

The quake struck 108 miles east northeast of the Tonga’s capital Nukuʻalofa and was a shallow 14 km deep, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

No immediate tsunami warning has been issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

onga is located in the Ring of Fire, an earthquake danger zone where 80% of all tremors globally strike.

The Ring of Fire has been rattled by a series of strong earthquakes in recent months, including a magnitude 8.1 tremor that killed 90 when it struck southern Mexico.

Tonga, whose population is an estimated 107,122 people, is particulary vulnerable to powerful earthquakes, USGS said.

USGS said: “Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though resistant structures exist.

“The predominant vulnerable building types are informal (metal, timber, GI etc.) and unknown/miscellaneous types construction.”

However, the closest island to the epicentre of the quake is an uninhabited volcanic island, according to Earthquake Report.

Based on previous impact assessments, the website believes the quake will not cause “any serious damage”.

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