11 Oct 2009

Moderate quake hits off Tonga

11:13 am on 11 October 2009

A 5.9 magnitude quake has struck close to Tonga and Samoa, the latest in a series of earthquakes to hit the South Pacific.

There was no tsunami alert after the tremor, which hit at a shallow depth of 10km early on Sunday, the US Geological Survey said.

The epicentre was 344km north-east of Tonga's Neiafu and 260km south-west of Apia, in Samoa, at 8.41 local time.

More than 180 people died after a violent Pacific earthquake at the end of September caused a tsunami that struck Tonga, Samoa and American Samoa.