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Nuku’alofa – September 15, 2021: 4.30pm (Volcano Discovery): An intermediate magnitude 5.2 earthquake was reported late at night near Hihifo in the Niuas.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the quake hit on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021, at 11:28 pm local time at an intermediate depth of 113 km.

The strength of the earthquake may have been tempered by its relative great depth below the surface, which makes it feel weaker in absolute terms.

Magnitude and other quake parameters can still change in the coming hours as the agency continues to process seismic data.

Monitoring service identified a second report from Geoscience Australia (GeoAu) which listed the quake at magnitude 5.2 as well. A third agency, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), reported the same quake at magnitude 5.2.

Based on the preliminary seismic data, the quake should not have caused any significant damage, but was probably felt by many people as light vibration in the area of the epicenter.

Weak shaking might have been felt in Hihifo (pop. 820) located 101 km from the epicenter.

VolcanoDiscovery will automatically update magnitude and depth if these change and follow up if other significant news about the quake become available.

Date & time: Sep 14, 2021 10:28:17 UTC – 17 hours ago
Local time at epicenter: Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 11:28 pm (GMT +13)
Magnitude: 5.2
Depth: 113.0 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude: 15.0478°S / 173.8958°W↗  (South Pacific OceanTonga)
Antipode: 15.048°N / 6.104°E
Nearest volcano: West Mata (17 km / 11 mi)
Nearby towns and cities:
101 km (63 mi) N of Hihifo (pop: 815) –> See nearby quakes!
217 km (135 mi) SW of Asau (Samoa) (pop: 6,640) –> See nearby quakes!
242 km (150 mi) SW of Mulifanua (Samoa) (pop: 4,510) –> See nearby quakes!
266 km (165 mi) WSW of Apia (Samoa) (pop: 40,400) –> See nearby quakes!
315 km (195 mi) SE of Mata-Utu (Hahake, Wallis & Futuna) (pop: 1,200) –> See nearby quakes!
351 km (218 mi) WSW of Tāfuna (Tualauta, American Samoa) (pop: 11,000) –> See nearby quakes!
354 km (220 mi) WSW of Pago Pago (Ma’Oputasi, American Samoa) (pop: 11,500) –> See nearby quakes!
401 km (249 mi) N of Neiafu (pop: 4,320) –> See nearby quakes!
614 km (382 mi) NW of Alofi (Niue) (pop: 624) –> See nearby quakes!
691 km (430 mi) N of Nuku’alofa (pop: 22,400) –> See nearby quakes!
317 km (197 mi) SE of Wallis Island (pop: 10,000) –> See nearby quakes!

Weather at epicenter at time of quake:
Clear Sky  27.3°C (81 F), humidity: 76%, wind: 8 m/s (15 kts) from ESE

Primary data source: USGS (United States Geological Survey)
Estimated released energy: 4 x 1012 joules (1.11 gigawatt hours, equivalent to 951 tons of TNT

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