Underwater Earthquake Strikes Near Tonga with Reported Magnitude 7.3

An underwater earthquake hit near the tiny Pacific island nation of Tonga on Friday and officials recorded its magnitude as 7.3.

The quake was approximately 132 miles east-southeast of the town Neiafu, occurring at a depth of 15 miles, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Officials predicted “strong shaking” but noted “the probability of serious damage or casualties was small,” the outlet said.

“The U.S. Tsunami Warning System issued a tsunami advisory, which is one step below a tsunami warning,” the article continued.

Video footage posted online caught the moment tsunami sirens were heard ringing out over a Tonga neighborhood as the person behind the camera emerged from their home:

Another clip taken from what appeared to be a balcony showed residents standing outside as the rain poured down and the sirens blared across the area:

Early Saturday, Tonga citizens were asked to move inland but the tsunami alert that included American Samoa was eventually lifted, Reuters reported.


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