NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga – A powerful magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck beneath the South Pacific Ocean on Sunday, shaking buildings in the nearest country, Tonga, for about two minutes, officials and residents said. No damage or injuries were reported.
The earthquake, which hit shortly after 5 a.m. local time, was felt in the archipelago's southern islands and shook the capital, Nuku'alofa, residents said.
It was centered 94 miles southeast of the capital at a depth of 20 miles in the South Pacific ocean, officials said.
The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said earthquakes of Sunday's magnitude could cause destructive a tsunami within 60 miles of the epicenter. But it said "no destructive widespread tsunami threat exists based on historical earthquake and tsunami data."
Hours after the earthquake there were no signs of a tsunami.
Tonga is near the end of the Pacific "Ring of Fire" — a geological fault line stretching from Chile in South America up through Alaska to Japan and down the western Pacific to New Zealand and Tonga.