4 May 2006

Tonga hit by quake - no tsunami warning

2:55 pm on 4 May 2006

This morning's 7.8 earthquake off Tonga prompted a tsunami warning in Hawaii but none was issued in Tonga.

There are no reports of major injuries following the tremor which is the strongest to hit the kingdom in recent times.

Alarm was raised in several parts of the Pacific, including the French territories where a 10 centimetre wave was registered in response to the quake.

The tsunami alert put in place for Fiji following this morning's massive earthquake off Tonga has been cancelled.

Milesh Kumar Jit, a seismologist for the Fiji Mineral Resources department, says the situation in Fiji is safe for the moment.

However he says chances of a tsunami remain relatively high after such a tremor and so they'll be monitoring the situation closely.

"There is an almost 50 percent chance that could be another earthquake that could trigger a tsunami. We are watching the situation for the next 24 hours and if there's any after-shock warning, then we'll reinforce the warning. But as of now, we've cancelled the warning and it's safe."