6.5 TREMOR JOLTS GUAM, NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS

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By Scott Radway

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (August 16, 2002 - Pacific Daily News)---A 6.5-magnitude earthquake rocked Guam and the Mariana Islands minutes before midnight yesterday, but caused only minor damage and no reported injuries.

The epicenter of the quake was 100 miles east-northeast of Hagåtña and 43 miles under the sea, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's earthquake center. The quake occurred 75 miles south-southeast of Saipan.

The tremor began at 11:58 p.m. and lasted about two minutes, said Paul Hattori, a geophysicist with the USGS station on Guam. The heart of the quake -- when people might have felt the earth sway -- was at most 24 seconds.

"It was relatively small," Hattori said. "Stuff fell off the tables, that type of thing."

No injuries reported

Civil Defense officials released a preliminary damage assessment yesterday afternoon that reported no injuries and no damage to utilities, but minor damage to Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority facilities. Military officials did not report any damage, the Civil Defense release said.

CNMI

Officials from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, of which Saipan is the capital, reported no major injuries or damage.

Juan Camacho, a seismic technician from the CNMI Emergency Management Office, said only one call came in about a crack in a residence.

Hattori said the quake was not related to the last two major temblors.

Guam's last big earthquake was April 27, when a 7.2-magnitude temblor caused an islandwide blackout and disrupted water service.

On Oct. 13 last year, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake caused an estimated $31.6 million in damage.

For additional reports from the Pacific Daily News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Pacific Daily News (Guam).

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