A 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Tonga just before midnight local time, 211km from the capital Nuku’alofa.
Tonga’s government said the marine tsunami warning issued earlier for the entire kingdom has now been cancelled.
“Based on tide gauge observation in Tonga, a tsunami wave of less than 5cm was recorded in Neiafu, Vava’u, Niuatoputapu and Nuku’alofa tide gauge at 3am this morning. Due to tsunami wave being less than 1 feet, it is expected that this tsunami will no longer pose a threat to Tonga,” a statement on its website said.
“Ocean currents however around marine coastal areas may be strong and erratic and special caution should be exercised.”
The quake was initially reported to be magnitude 7.3, but was upgraded to 7.9, with a depth of 10km.
The National Emergency Management Office advised there was no tsunami threat to New Zealand from the quake.
The Tongan government earlier put out alerts warning residents to remain inland and on high ground.
Staff from Tonga's National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) deliver drinking water to people who have been moved to higher ground following a 7.9 magnitude earthquake on November 11. Photo / Supplied
“A strong earthquake has occurred near Tonga and felt in whole of Tonga. A dangerous tsunami could occur in minutes. You are advised to evacuate immediately inland to high ground or to the 3rd level of a steel or concrete building until the threat has passed. Mariners are advised to move to deep ocean away from reefs,” a statement said.
Residents were advised to listen to Radio Tonga for further updates.
RNZ’s correspondent in Nuku’alofa said he felt the quake and it lasted for about two minutes.
Tonga’s National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) posted photos to Facebook of staff delivering drinking water to residents.
“The National Emergency Operation Centre have received calls requesting water from families who have evacuated inland and onto higher grounds,” they said in the post.
In January, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano eruption triggered a tsunami that destroyed villages and resorts and knocked out communications for the South Pacific nation of about 105,000 people. At least three people were killed.
In American Samoa, the National Weather Station issued a tsunami advisory after the 7.3 quake in the Tonga islands region.
It said some areas may have experienced strong shaking adding that it was monitoring the situation.
For Samoa, the meteorology office issued an advisory following a 6.5 quake earlier in the Fiji islands region.
“The depth is 38km and the distance is 560.34km south west of the capital Apia.
The public is hereby advised that although there is a not tsunami from this earthquake please take extra precaution when you are attending activities near the coastal area,” it said.
- Additional reporting by NZ Herald
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