Wellington (AFP) April 19, 2011
A strong 6.6-magnitude undersea earthquake hit off the northeast coast of New Zealand on Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a local tsunami warning but said there was no threat of a widespread destructive tsunami.
The quake struck at 1:03 am (1303 Monday GMT) around 550 kilometres (350 miles) east of Auckland, USGS said, with an epicentre 90 kilometres (55 miles) below the surface.
USGS had earlier measured the magnitude at 6.4.
The epicentre lay southwest of the Kermadec Islands, which lie around 1,000 kilometres northeast of New Zealand.
New Zealand sits on the so-called Pacific "ring of fire", a zone of frequent tectonic activity, and is often hit by earthquakes.
The country's second largest city Christchurch was devastated by a 6.3-magnitude quake in February, which claimed 181 lives and followed a more powerful but less destructive 7.1 quake last September.
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Onagawa, Japan (AFP) April 16, 2011
Hundreds of aftershocks have rocked the ground and frayed nerves in the five weeks since Japan's massive earthquake and tsunami, forcing survivors to relive the terror almost daily. The incessant rumbling of the Earth's stressed crust has held back relief work, imperilled already dangerous operations to contain a nuclear crisis and fuelled fears far beyond the coast that was devastated by th ... read more
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