25 Nov 2009

6.8 earthquake rattles Tonga

6:08 am on 25 November 2009

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake has struck off Tonga early this morning, sending panicked residents into the streets.

There are no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported shortly after the quake struck that there was no threat of a destructive widespread tsunami.

But it says waves were possible within 100 kilometres of the earthquake's epicentre.

Residents in the capital said their homes rattled when the quake struck at 1.30 this morning, and the tremors set off frantic barking of dogs.

In the town of Ha'apai, on an island 300 kilometres northeast of the capital, a resident Lano Fonua said the quake was strong and lasted about 45 seconds.