Quake near Guam sways buildings, no damage reported

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GUAM, Sep 30 (Reuters) A strong earthquake swayed buildings on the Pacific island of Guam today but there were no immediate reports of damage and no tsunami alert was issued.

The magnitude 7.1 quake occurred at 0739 ist near the US territory, with its epicentre at a depth of 30 km, Japan's Meteorological Agency said on its Web site (www.jma.go.jp/en/quake).

Some residents said high-rise blocks swayed and goods fell off supermarket shelves. But two hours after the quake, local television had reported no damage to buildings on Guam, an island east of the Philippines which is home to a major US military base.

''We felt it. It was swinging back and forth for a minute or two,'' said Patrick Chan, a Guam-based meteorologist at the US National Weather Service. ''It's not expected to cause a tsunami.'' The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, based in Hawaii, said in a statement there was ''no destructive widespread tsunami threat''.

Neither Guam nor the Philippines issued tsunami warnings.

The US Geological Survey also recorded a quake in the same area, which it said on its Web site (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter) was of magnitude 6.8 and centred about 345 km south-southeast of Guam.

REUTERS SZ RK1216

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