Earthquakes Near Tonga

A series of three moderately strong earthquakes struck near Tonga overnight.

The sixteen minute burst of activity began at 1:23 a.m. New Zealand Daylight Time on Saturday 24th November 2007 with a magnitude 5.3 earthquake located 155 km north-west of Neiafu, in Tonga’s Vava’u Group (395 km north of the Tongan capital Nuku’Alofa).

Two further earthquakes of magnitude 5.3 followed nearby at 1:38 a.m. and 1:39 a.m. All of the quakes were located within a 15 km area in the northern part of the Tonga Microplate west of the interface with the Pacific tectonic plate, at depths of 35 km.

Geoscience Australia reports the third event as magnitude 6.1 at a depth of 60 km, located slightly further south.

[Compiled from data supplied by the US Geological Survey and its contributing agencies.]

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