Strong Quake Near Tonga Prompts Tsunami Warning

Friday, March 20th 2009, 6:26 am
By: News On 6

NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga (AP) - A tsunami warning in the South Pacific has been canceled about four hours after a 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck near Tonga.

There are no reports of injuries or damage in the 170-island archipelago.

National police commander Chris Kelly says given the magnitude of the quake, Tonga "might have got off lightly." But he says it rattled houses, swayed trees and rippled the ground.

One resident says, "We're shaken but not stirred."

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii had issued warnings for several islands including Fiji, Samoa and American Samoa.

One police official in Tonga says many islanders didn't appear to take the warning seriously. He says they were out on the roads, laughing at it.

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