Strongest earthquake in years hits northwest of Norway

05/26/2012 22:00

WireUpdate:  OSLO, NORWAY (BNO NEWS) -- A strong earthquake struck the Norwegian Sea northwest of Norway on late Thursday evening, making it one of the strongest tremors to hit the region in recent years, seismologists said on Friday. There were no reports of damage or casualties.

The 6.2-magnitude earthquake at 10:47 p.m. local time (2247 GMT) was centered in the Norwegian Sea about 600 kilometers (373 miles) northwest of Tromsø, a city in Troms county in northern Norway. It struck about 8.8 kilometers (5.5 miles) deep, making it an extremely shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was a small possibility of a local tsunami due to the shallow depth of the earthquake, but no unusual waves were observed on nearby coastlines. "A destructive tsunami threat does not exist based on historical earthquake and tsunami data," the center said in a bulletin.

Geoscience Australia said very light shaking may have been felt as far away as the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen, a small region of mainland Norway, and a tiny part of the thinly populated Svalbard archipelago. But the USGS, on the other hand, said this was unlikely due to the earthquake's distance from those locations. There were no known reports of anyone having felt the earthquake.

In February 2008, a strong 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic, making it the largest earthquake in Norwegian history but causing no damage or casualties. A 5.8-magnitude earthquake which struck the coast of central Norway in August 1819 caused landslides, rock slides and a small tsunami.

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