The US Geological Survey reported the quake on Sunday, August 19, just after midnight UTC (1am BST).
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre reported “small tsunami waves have been observed”.
Luckily, the mammoth quake occurred about 350 miles beneath the ocean, and while it was still felt at the surface, it’s not expected to cause much damage or pose a risk to life.
The USGS calls these “deep focus” earthquakes, and while some of the biggest earthquakes to strike the earth are deep focus, their depth usually minimises damage.
The biggest deep focus earthquake ever recorded was in 2013 when an M8.3 struck near Russia and was felt all over Asia, giving us a sense of how massive this Fiji quake was.
Is there a tsunami warning?
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) advised that, while small tsunami waves were observed, there is no need to worry too much and a warning isn’t in place.
In the statement, they said: “Persons along coastal areas near the earthquake should be observant and exercise normal caution.
“Otherwise, no action is required.”
In a tweet, the PTWC called them “small, non-dangerous tsunami waves.”
USGS geophysicist Jana Pursley said: “I would not expect any damage.
“People will feel it but it’s so deep that I would not expect any damage.”
Where did the quake hit?
The epicentre was located 167 miles (270 km) east of Levuka in Fiji and 275 miles (443 km) west of Neiafu in Tonga.
You can see the exact location on the map above and the anticipated impact zone.
The quake was initially reported as a magnitude 8.0 and then upgraded to 8.2, a magnitude that could cause tremendous damage had it not been so deep.
The area is no stranger to earthquakes.
Fiji falls in the Pacific Ring Of Fire – a massive horseshoe-shaped area in the Pacific basin.
The ring is formed of a string of 452 volcanoes and sites of seismic activity (earthquakes), which encircle the Pacific Ocean.
Roughly 90 percent of all earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire, and 75 percent of the world’s active volcanoes are dotted along the expansive ring.
The ring stretches along a 25,000-mile arc from the boundary of the Pacific Plate, to smaller plates such as the Philippine Sea plate, to the Cocos and Nazca Plates that line the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
People most at risk from volcanic eruptions and earthquakes live in countries that lie along the Ring of Fire.