6.1 earthquake strikes near South Pacific islands
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - May 21, 2011 (WPVI) -- The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 6.1 earthquake has struck near a group of South Pacific islands. There are no reports of damage or risk of tsunami.
A statement by the USGS says the quake struck Sunday 12 miles (19 kilometers) under the Kermadec Islands, a New Zealand group with no permanent population that lies 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) east of the city of Auckland.
New Zealand has been shaken by a series of quakes and aftershocks since the city of Christchurch was devastated by a temblor on Feb. 22 that killed 181 people.
New Zealand sits above an area where two tectonic plates collide. The country records more than 14,000 earthquakes a year - but only about 150 are felt by residents, and fewer than 10 a year do any damage.
A small U.S. religious group had predicted that Judgement Day would begin a day earlier, on Saturday, with an earthquake in New Zealand.
earthquake, new zealand, national/world
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