An underwater earthquake hit near the tiny Pacific island nation of Tonga on Friday and officials recorded its magnitude as 7.3.
The quake was approximately 132 miles east-southeast of the town Neiafu, occurring at a depth of 15 miles, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Officials predicted “strong shaking” but noted “the probability of serious damage or casualties was small,” the outlet said.
“The U.S. Tsunami Warning System issued a tsunami advisory, which is one step below a tsunami warning,” the article continued.
Video footage posted online caught the moment tsunami sirens were heard ringing out over a Tonga neighborhood as the person behind the camera emerged from their home:
Another clip taken from what appeared to be a balcony showed residents standing outside as the rain poured down and the sirens blared across the area:
WATCH: #BNNTonga Reports
On Friday, a strong underwater 7.3 earthquake happened near the island of Tonga in the southern Pacific Ocean.
This caused the government to issue a tsunami warning and sirens to sound off the island, telling people to seek higher ground. pic.twitter.com/TCTj1u7gSJ
— Gurbaksh Singh Chahal (@gchahal) November 11, 2022
Early Saturday, Tonga citizens were asked to move inland but the tsunami alert that included American Samoa was eventually lifted, Reuters reported.
“Please remain inland and high ground and please listen to radio until further advised. For mariners, move away from the reefs to deep ocean,” the Tonga Meteorological Services, Government of Tonga said in a social media post:
Please remain inland and high ground and please listen to radio until further advised. For mariners, move away from the reefs to deep ocean.Thank you,Tonga MET.
The agency later told followers “The tsunami marine warning previously in forced for all of Tonga is now CANCELLED.”
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“Based on tide gauge observation in Tonga, a tsunami wave of less than 5cm was recorded in Neiafu, Vava’u, Niuatoputapu and Nuku’alofa tide gauge at 3 am this morning. Due to tsunami wave being less than 1 feet, it is expected that this tsunami will no longer pose a threat to Tonga,” the agency’s post continued:
The agency also warned that ocean currents in coastal areas may be “strong and erratic” and warned people to exercise caution.
Earlier this year, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted which resulted in a tsunami that destroyed villages, resorts, and cut communication. It also took the lives of at least three individuals, according to the Reuters report.