Quake strikes near Pacific island of Tonga

A 5.9-magnitude quake hit near the Pacific island of Tonga on Thursday, but no casualties or damage were reported and no tsunami warning was issued. The earthquake struck 65 miles (135 kilometers) northeast of Hihifo, Tonga, at a depth of 21 miles (35 kilometers).

Many residents of American Samoa felt the earthquake and went out to look at the ocean while listening to radio broadcasts."Nothing is registered on our censors for tsunami waves," as said by Carol Baqui, a forecaster in American Samoa weather service.

No tsunami warning was issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) in Hawaii. Police in the Samoan capital, Apia, said they’ve no reports on the temblor. "We didn't feel any earthquake," an officer, who refused to be named, said.

Julie Dutton, a geophysicist with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in Golden, Colorado, it was a relatively small earthquake. "Right now we don't have any reports of it being felt. It's pretty far off the coast so we're not anticipating anything damaging," Julie Dutton said.

Preliminary estimates put the earthquake at 6.2, but that was later downgraded to 5.9.About 90 % of the world's temblors occur in the so-called "Ring of Fire" - an arc of earthquake as well as volcanic zones that stretches around the Pacific Rim.

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