Magnitude 8.2 quake strikes in the Pacific, no damage expected: USGS

The quake was 560km below the Earth which would have dampened the shaking at the surface.
The quake was 560km below the Earth which would have dampened the shaking at the surface.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM EARTHQUAKE.USGS.GOV

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - A massive quake of magnitude 8.2 struck in the Pacific Ocean close to Fiji and Tonga on Sunday (Aug 19) but it was so deep that it was not expected to cause any damage, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The US Tsunami Warning Centre also said the quake was too deep to cause a tsunami.

The quake was 560km below the Earth which would have dampened the shaking at the surface.

"I would not expect any damage. People will feel it but it's so deep that I would not expect any damage," USGS geophysicist Jana Pursley said by telephone.

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 epicenter was located 270km east of Levuka in Fiji and 443km west of Neiafu in Tonga.

The area is located on the earthquake-prone Ring of Fire.