A strong, very deep earthquake struck near Fiji this evening. The quake was magnitude 6.1, 560 km deep and located 415 km south-east of Suva, Fiji at 7:32 p.m. New Zealand Time, according to data released by the US Geological Survey.
The earthquake occurred after a rapid series of 4 shallow earthquakes with magnitudes between 4.9 and 5.1 in the preceding 9 hours near Tonga.
Earthquake activity near these Pacific islands has continued at a steady rate in the past week.
Earthquake activity near Tonga rapidly abated after the magnitude 7.9 event of May 4th, and it was thought that a magnitude 6.7 event on May 28th saw a return to more normal aftershock activity. However, that event has now been revised down to magnitude 5.6 according to latest USGS data.
The revision now means that since May 27th, earthquake activity near Tonga has continued at a steady rate with 9 quakes (5 of magnitude 5 and 4 of magnitude 4) at depths between 30 and 135 km.
There has also been activity at a lower rate at locations near Fiji, Samoa and the Kermadec Islands.