Tsunami warning for Tonga after 6.6 magnitude earthquake cancelled

A tsunami warning following a 6.6 magnitude earthquake in Tonga has been lifted.

Tonga Met Services cancelled the warning few hours after it issued an alert for the kingdom.

“Based on the gauge readings and advice from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, the main tsunami wave has now passed. Therefore the Urgent Tsunami Warning previously inforce for Tonga is now cancelled”.

The warning prompted closures of schools and government.

Sirens were activated and local authorities warned local residents to move away from the coastline. The warning has now been cancelled by Tonga Meteorological Services.

One local resident told 1News the roads were crazy and “people are panicking and crying” as they were triggered from the 2022 tsunami which was a result of the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai volcanic eruption.

The earthquake epicentre was around 200km from the capital Nuku’alofa and it was at a depth 112km.

Tonga’s quake comes after a strong earthquake struck the South Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu on Sunday, but there were no tsunami warnings or immediate reports of damage.

The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.3 when it hit at 9.23am local time (10.23am NZT), the US Geological Survey said. Its epicenter was 83 kilometers northwest of the capital, Port Vila, at a depth of 29 kilometers.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no risk of the quake causing a tsunami.

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