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6.0 magnitude earthquake near Tonga, US Geological Survey says
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6.0 magnitude earthquake near Tonga, US Geological Survey says

A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck this Saturday near Tonga – a South Pacific island country with around 170 islands – according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The quake was about 215 kilometers deep and struck about 127 kilometers (about 133 miles) west of the town of Neiafu, the USGS said.

According to the USGS, this telluric movement is on green alert. This means that the probability of casualties and material damage was low despite the fact that in general the population of this region resides in structures vulnerable to seismic shocks.

a volcanic region

In January 2022, Tonga recorded the submarine eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano. According to NASA, it was hundreds of times more powerful than the Hiroshima nuclear explosion because it released a large amount of mechanical energy.

The volcanic eruption ejected ash and rocks up to 40 kilometers into the atmosphere. In addition, it caused tsunami waves, some of which reached heights of up to 15 meters and affected various areas of the archipelago, including the main island of this nation in the Pacific.

According to the Prime Minister of Tonga, during the event, a large volcanic cloud spread and blanketed the country’s approximately 170 islands and affected nearly 100,000 people.