6.9 magnitude tremor in Samoas, no tsunami this time

A HUGE 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit a collection of islands along the Ring of Fire sparking fears a tsunami could strike.

The quake had a depth of 32 kilometres and struck 192km south-west of Apia, in Samoa, the US Geological Survey said.

The area forms part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates in the Earth's lithosphere meet and earthquakes and volcanic activity are common.

Local reports say the earthquake "was one of the longest tremors felt in Samoa for a while" and lasted for around a minute with people running out of their homes and into open spaces.

But members of the public have been assured there is no tsunami warning as a result of the strong earthquake, which rattled the country last night.

Early reports suggest the quake was also felt in Tonga, and was located 138km north east of the island.

Citizens have taken to social media following the quake to share their experiences.

One Twitter user said: “Literally grabbed Aniva out of her crib & ran for my life downstairs that earthquake was crazy! Hope y'all ok Samoa! Stay safe.”

Another tweeted: “Earthquake here in American Samoa! Damn is it our turn again! Lol.”

A third added: “A 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit American Samoa about 10 minutes ago. Prayers up for us locals pls, severe damages could happen to our island.”

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre confirmed earlier today that there was no threat of a tsunami following the quake.

The Samoa Meteorological Service said in a statement: “An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 has occurred within the Samoan Region, on Saturday 4th November 2017 at 11:00 pm (Samoa time, which would have been Friday night in Am Samoa).

“The depth is 32km and the distance is 192 kilometres South West of Apia.

“The public is advised that there is "NO TSUNAMI" generated by the earthquake.”

In 2009, Samoa was struck by a massive 8.1 magnitude earthquake - the largest across the globe that year.

The quake, in turn, caused a devastating tsunami, which caused substantial damage across Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga and cost the lives of 189 people with hundreds more injured.

Earlier this year, countries bordering the ocean rim Ring of Fire tested their capacity to handle a major tsunami in an emergency exercise.

The crucial demonstration in February was held to identify possible shortcomings in a system designed to forewarn of an impending disaster from the Pacific Ocean that could threaten hundreds of thousands of lives.

Read more at The Express

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