A massive earthquake measuring 8.2 on the Richter Scale, the world's strongest quake in more than two years, occurred in the South Pacific about 850 miles southwest New Zealand late Tuesday. There was no immediate report of damage or injuries.
The government-owned Radio New Zealand said the quake was picked up by seismological monitors in the capital of Wellington, but there were no reports the tremor was felt in New Zealand.Don Kelly, a spokesman for the U.S. Geological Survey in Washington, said the quake measured 8.2 on the Richter Scale and hit at 10:55 p.m. (4:55 a.m. MDT) in the great Macquarie Islands region of the South Pacific.
He said it was the strongest quake in the world since one measuring 8.1 on Oct. 20, 1986, in the Kermadec Islands in the Pacific. But Kelly said there were no reports of damage after Tuesday's temblor, nor of a huge sea wave called a tsunami.
Radio New Zealand said the epicenter was 830 miles southwest of the city of Christchurch, which is located on the south island of New Zealand. It said the strength of the temblor was about 30 times that of the quake which shook the Soviet republic of Armenia last December, leaving some 25,000 people dead.
A quake measuring 8 on the Richter Scale is considered capable of tremendous damage.