Strong earthquake hits off Norwegian island, no tsunami alert

JAN MAYEN: A strong earthquake struck near the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen on early Saturday morning, seismologists said, but no tsunami alert was issued.

The 6.1-magnitude earthquake at 6.55 a.m. local time (GMT) was centered just east of Jan Mayen, a volcanic island in the Arctic Ocean that belongs to Norway. It is partly covered by glaciers and is located about 500 kilometers (300 miles) east of central Greenland, or 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) west of the North Cape in Norway.

The strong earthquake struck just 9.5 kilometers (5.9 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). No damage or casualties were expected as the island is usually uninhabited.

A seismologist with the USGS said Saturday's earthquake was the largest in the region since a 6.0-magnitude earthquake on April 14, 2004, but smaller earthquakes occur more frequently. "This part of the world, the earthquakes, it's a spreading ridge, so the plates are moving away from each other. They normally don't produce large earthquakes," the seismologist said.

There was no tsunami threat as a result of the earthquake.


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