6.9-magnitude earthquake rattles Fiji

A map by the United States Geological Survey shows the location of the 6.9-magnitude earthquake Wednesday off the coast of Fiji islands 176 miles south of the capital of Suva at a depth of 9.5 miles. Screenshot: USGA

SUVA, Fiji, Jan. 4 (UPI) — A 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck Fiji on Wednesday, prompting evacuations but no reports of damage in the capital of Suva.

The quake, which hit at 9:54 a.m. Wednesday, was centered 176 miles south of the capital at a depth of 9.5 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center withdrew a tsunami warning for parts of the Pacific.

Radio New Zealand reported evacuations in the Fijian tourist hub of Nadi.

Red Cross Australia aid worker Susan Slattery told ABC News Online in Australia that “pretty much everybody in Suva” evacuated buildings for higher land after the quake. “Certainly the whole city was on the move.

Some power outages also were reported.

A 6.3-magnitude quake hit 362 miles south of Suva on Monday at a depth of 345 miles.

Spiro Spiliopoulos, senior seismologist at Geoscience Australia, told ABC News Online said the tremors were close to a tectonic plate boundary between the Australian plate and the Pacific plate.

“This is unusual in that it occurred a little bit away from the plate boundary,” he told the ABC. “They have the potential to generate tsunamis.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here