Underwater earthquake struck near Tonga in southern Pacific

A powerful, shallow underwater earthquake struck Friday near Tonga in the southern Pacific, prompting authorities to issue and then lift a tsunami advisory.

HAWAII’S BIG ISLAND WARNED OF POSSIBLE ‘LAVA DISASTER’ AS HUGE VOLCANO RUMBLES

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.3 quake was centered 132 miles east-southeast of Neiafu, Tonga, at a depth of 15 miles. It predicted strong shaking but said the probability of serious damage or casualties was small.

An underwater earthquake has made itself aware near Tonga in the southern Pacific. Pictured: A beach resort hit by tsunami when the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted violently, the triggering the tsunami in Tonga on Jan. 20, 2022.
(Ha’atafu Beach Resort/Handout via Xinhu)

The U.S. Tsunami Warning System issued and later lifted a tsunami advisory, which is one step below a tsunami warning.

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An undersea volcano erupted in Tonga in January, killing three people, blanketing its main island with a thick layer of volcanic ash and shooting millions of tons of water vapor high up into the atmosphere.