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Magnitude 7.9 Earthquake in the Tonga Islands Triggers Small Tsunami | March 19, 2009

Photo credit: NASA - NASA satellite image of the Kingdom of TongaAt 2:17 PM Eastern Daylight Time, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake occurred in the Tonga Islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. This earthquake has triggered a tsunami that was detected by new DART (Deep ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis) buoys placed in the world's oceans following the destructive magnitude 9.2 December 26, 2004 Indonesian earthquake and tsunami. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has determined that today's tsunami poses no threat to either Hawaii, Alaska or the continental USA, but does pose a danger to the coastlines of those nations that lie close to the earthquake epicenter.

Although this earthquake does not pose a danger to the coast of South Carolina, SCEEP wished to remind coastal South Carolina residents that tsunamis are a danger in the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Pacific Ocean. DART buoys also exist in the Atlantic Ocean, including one 370 nautical miles due east of Charleston, South Carolina.

For more information on this earthquake and tsunami:
Check out the USGS Did You Feel It? Web Site
Last Updated: August 3, 2010
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