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Small-intensity earthquake shakes Hong Kong
(STANDARD) 09月 15日 星期五 03:30AM
A small-intensity earthquake rattled Hong Kong Thursday night, causing skyscrapers to shake and sending worried people running into the streets.
The Hong Kong Observatory said it recorded a tremor, measuring 3.5, or minor, on the Richter scale, in waters near Hong Kong, at 7.53pm.
The epicenter was initially determined to be in the sea around Dangan Island, about 36 kilometers south- southeast of the territory.
The State Seismological Bureau in Beijing said the quake struck about 40km off the coast of Hong Kong in the South China Sea.
Police said there were no initial reports of injuries or casualties, but local radio stations were inundated with telephone calls and e-mails.
English teacher Kate Hodgson said residents in Shek O on Hong Kong Island ran into the streets after the tremor struck.
"I was lying on my bed reading a book when out of nowhere the walls and furniture started to shake. The whole house moved," she said.
"I didn't know what it was because I had never felt anything like it before," said Hodgson, who picked up her nine- month-old baby Mathilda and left her house.
She said the streets of the village were full of people wondering what had happened.
Martine Montagne, 46, who has lived in Hong Kong for 11 years, said her building in Tai Tam shook for about three seconds.
"I've lived in earthquake zones before but I've never experienced anything like this in Hong Kong," she said.
Many residents throughout the territory reported buildings and furniture shaking for several seconds.
Wong Wing-tak, senior scientific officer at the observatory, said an earthquake of such a small intensity is very common around the world and there was no cause for alarm.
"The possibility of more tremors afterwards is remote," he said.
According to the observatory, Hong Kong has a very small chance of experiencing major tremors since it is located about 600km from the nearest boundary with the Pacific Plate on the circum- Pacific seismic belt that runs through Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines.
The strongest earthquake felt in Hong Kong was in 1918.
It had a magnitude of 7.3 and was centered at Shantou in Guangdong province, about 300km east-northeast of the territory.
The quake caused minor damages and cracks to buildings in the territory.
According to the observatory Web site, just six tremors measuring more than five on the Richter scale have hit Hong Kong since 1874.資料來源： http://hk.news.yahoo.com/060914/318/1t27l.html (yahoo search)