A 6.2 magnitude earthquake in the Tongan Region raised a few eyebrows in Samoa at 7.36pm on Tuesday.
Senior Scientific Officer at the Met Office, Malaefatu Leavasa, of the Geosciences Section of the Meteorology Office, confirmed the tremor.
“The depth of the earthquake is 15.9km it was 15.14 degrees South and 173.26 degrees west,” he said.
“Earthquakes are usually caused when rock underground suddenly breaks along a fault; this sudden release of energy causes the seismic waves that make the ground shake.
“When two blocks of rock or two plates are rubbing against each other, they stick a little. It is hard to predict earthquake.”
Asked why they can’t predict earthquakes, he said scientists haven’t been able to find signals for earthquakes.
“There is no obvious sign to say that an earthquake is coming very soon,” he said.
“Vibrations can be detected just before an earthquake occurs, but this doesn't give enough time for people to escape and the processes that cause earthquakes mostly occur far below the Earth's surface.
“There are many tectonic plates - sections of the Earth's crust that rub together and cause earthquakes - and their interactions are complex. This makes earthquakes very hard to study.
“We can't also predict Tsunami unless a Magnitude 7.5 < occurs.”