The US Geological Survey reported a magnitude 8.2 earthquake hit near Fiji and Tonga on Sunday, August 19, just after midnight UTC (1am BST), around 270 KM east of Levuka.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) advised that, while small tsunami waves were observed, there is no need to worry too much and a warning isn’t in place.
Luckily, the mammoth quake occurred about 350 miles beneath the ocean, and while it was still felt at the surface, it’s not expected to cause much damage or pose a risk to life.
The USGS calls these “deep focus” earthquakes, and while some of the biggest earthquakes to strike the earth are deep focus, their depth usually minimises damage.
The biggest deep focus earthquake ever recorded was in 2013 when an M8.3 struck near Russia and was felt all over Asia, giving us a sense of how massive this Fiji quake was.
Meanwhile a magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck 20 KM to the North East of Lombok, Indonesia at 0259 UTC during a series of earthquakes suffered by the area during the previous 12 hours.
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