Nuku'Alofa, Tonga, Mar 20: An earthquake measuring 7.9-magnitude hit 200 km south-southeast of the Tongan capital of Nuku'Alofa at a depth of 10 km. The earthquake generating a tsunami with the potential of striking coastlines in the South Pacific, officials said. There were no reports of injury or damage.
The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for Tonga and neighboring islands, and reported that sea level readings have confirmed that a potentially destructive tsunami wave was generated by the quake.
Local radio stations in Tonga declared that a tsunami was possible and that people should move away from coastal villages, but police and locals said no big wave had been reported.
But people have not taken the tsunami warnings seriously. "People are out on the roads, laughing at the warning," a Police personnel told.