(Reuters) – A massive quake of magnitude 8.2 struck in the Pacific Ocean close to Fiji and Tonga on Sunday but it was so deep that it was not expected to cause any damage, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.
The U.S. Tsunami Warning Center also said the quake was too deep to cause a tsunami.
The quake was 347.7 miles (560 km) 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 epicentre was located 167 miles (270 km) east of Levuka in Fiji and 275 miles (443 km) west of Neiafu in Tonga.
The area is located on the earthquake-prone Ring of Fire.
(Reporting by Sandra Maler in Washington; Editing by Chris Reese)