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Earthquake Hazards Program

News Release

Magnitude 7.9 TONGA
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 at 15:26:40 UTC

The following is a release by the United States Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center: A great earthquake occurred about 160 km (100 miles) NE of NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga at 9:26 AM MDT, May 3, 2006 (May 04 at 4:26 AM local time in Tonga). The magnitude and location may be revised when additional data and further analysis results are available. No reports of damage or casualties have been received at this time; however, this earthquake may have caused damage due to its location and size. Earthquakes of this type sometimes cause tsunamis, however the USGS has no information that an actual tsunami has been generated. For information about tsunamis, contact the NOAA Tsunami Warning Centers at

One person injured, a church damaged, windows broken and items knocked from shelves (VII) at Nuku`alofa. Felt (VI) at Neiafu. Felt at Hihifo, Pangai and Vaini. Felt (III) at Apia, Samoa. Felt at Atiu and Avarua, Cook Islands; at Suva, Fiji; at Alofi, Niue; at Mulifanua, Samoa. Also felt at Auckland, Minginui, Napier, Wanganui, Wellington and Whakatane, New Zealand. A tsunami was generated with recorded wave heights in meters (peak-to-trough) at the following selected tide stations: 0.54 at Pago Pago, American Samoa; 0.10 at Tofino, British Columbia, Canada; 0.13 at Raratonga, Cook Islands; 0.07 at Suva, Fiji; 0.15 at Hanasaki, Japan; 0.48 at Noumea, New Caledonia; 0.15 at Jackson Bay, New Zealand; 0.42 on Niue; 0.42 at Apia, Samoa; 0.42 at Nuku`alofa, Tonga; 0.13 at King Cove, Alaska, 0.54 at Crescent City, California, 0.35 at Santa Barbara, California, 0.10 at San Francisco, California, 0.49 at Kahului, Hawaii, 0.12 at Portland, Oregon, 0.11 at La Push, Washington, U.S.A; 0.45 at Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Preliminary Earthquake Report
U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center
World Data Center for Seismology, Denver


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