The government of the island nation of Tonga on Friday called for immediate evacuation inland after the 7.9-magnitude quake that issued a tsunami alert.
“A strong earthquake struck near Tonga and was felt across Tonga. A dangerous tsunami could occur in minutes,” the government said in a statement on its website.
“Immediate evacuation to higher ground inland or to the third floor of a steel or concrete building is recommended until the threat has passed. Seafarers are advised to move to deeper water away from coral reefs,” it said. increase.
The Tongan government said the quake occurred at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) about 200 kilometers (124 miles) east of Neiafu city on Vava’u Island.
The United States Geological Survey (USGA) said Friday that a magnitude 7.3 earthquake was detected 211 kilometers east of Neiafu, Tonga.
Earlier this year, Tonga suffered a record-breaking eruption from an undersea volcano, ejecting huge plumes of ash, gas and steam into the atmosphere up to 20 kilometers and sending a tsunami sweeping across the Pacific Ocean.
The main island of Tongatapu was severely damaged by the tsunami and was covered with thick volcanic ash.
At least two deaths were reported at the time.
This is breaking news. More to come.