A massive quake of magnitude 8.2 struck in the Pacific Ocean close to Fiji and Tonga on Sunday but it was very deep and did not trigger a tsunami, the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Tsunami Warning Center said.
The quake was 347.7 miles (559.57 km) below the Earth which would have dampened the shaking at the surface.
The US Tsunami Warning Center said the quake was too deep to cause a tsunami.
The quake was initially reported as a magnitude 8.0 and then upgraded to 8.2, a magnitude that could cause tremendous damage had it not been so deep.
The tremor hit at 12:19 pm (local time) 361 kilometres (224 miles) east of the Pacific nation’s capital Suva, at a depth of 559 kilometres, the US seismologists said.
The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was “no tsunami threat because the earthquake is located too deep inside the Earth”.
The quake, and several aftershocks ranging up to magnitude 6.2, were felt as a rippling effect in the outer Lau islands group but residents in Suva, on the main island of Viti Levu, said they did not feel a thing.
The government’s Seismology Unit issued a statement saying the earthquake “does not pose any immediate threat to the Fiji region due to its deep depth”.
The quake occurred in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, a region of frequent seismic activity due to collisions between continental plates.