A strong earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter Scale hit near the Samoa Islands region, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). It was centered about 85 miles northwest from Hihifo, Tonga and around 193 miles southwest of Apia, Samoa. It occurred near a subduction zone of an Australia-Pacific boundary.
In 2009, a magnitude 8.1 hit near this area as well and caused a tsunami which reportedly killed 180 people. According to USGS, there have been around 15 earthquakes measuring around 7.5 or greater near the area of New Zealand since the 1900s.
By Liz Pimentel