Source AP ©

Earthquake shakes Pacific Ocean islands of Tonga

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit the Pacific Ocean islands of Tonga early Wednesday, no immediate reports of injuries or damage and no tsunami alert.

The moderate quake was centered just 21 kilometers (13 miles) from the town of Neiafu, capital of the Va'vau islands group, 300 kilometers (188 miles) north of the capital Nuku'alofa.

The quake, was 10 kilometers (6 miles) beneath the earth's surface and out at sea, and struck at 4:50 a.m. local time (1550 GMT Tuesday), the U.S. Geological Survey reported on its Web site.

"There is no damage here in Va'vau" from the quake, a police spokesman said, speaking on condition that he not be named, as is normally the case there.

Motel owner Janine Lestrange said there was "a bit of a shake and that was it" as the temblor struck, but there" is no damage round the place," and no tsunami alert was issued for the low-lying islands.

Tonga sits on part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire," an earthquake-prone ring of volcanoes that stretches from Chile through Alaska and down into the South Pacific.