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Powerful earthquake strikes off the South Sandwich Islands, no tsunami threat

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The epicenter of Tuesday's earthquake (Credit: Google)

A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 has struck the Atlantic Ocean off Montagu Island in the South Sandwich Islands, seismologists say. There is no threat of a tsunami and injuries are unlikely.

The earthquake, which struck at 12:26 a.m. local time on Tuesday, was centered about 12 kilometers (8 miles) south of Montagu Island, which is part of a British overseas territory that is known as the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) put the preliminary magnitude at 7.1. It struck about 164 kilometers (102 miles) below the seabed, the agency said, making it a relatively deep earthquake.

“Based on all available data, there is no tsunami threat from this earthquake,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin.

Injuries are unlikely because the region is uninhabited, although a small number of staff members stay year-round at scientific bases on Bird Island and South Georgia Island. There were no immediate reports of damage.

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