Strong Earthquake Hits Antarctica

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) — Two strong earthquakes 40 minutes apart this weekend rocked remote islands in Antarctica, the U.S. Geological Survey says.

The USGS said the first, a 6.6-magnitude temblor, was at a depth of 6 miles about 334 miles west of Coronation Island in the South Shetland Islands and struck at 8:40 a.m. EST Sunday, CNN reported.

About 40 minutes later an aftershock measuring 6.2 was felt, followed by a 5.1-magnitude aftershock about 2 hours later.

The South Orkney Islands form a remote archipelago in the Southern Ocean to the northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula.

“There is the small possibility of a local or regional tsunami that could affect coasts located usually no more than a few hundreds kilometers from the earthquake epicenter,” the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

Later the center released a statement saying there appeared to be no threat of “destructive widespread tsunami” because of the quake.

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