WASHINGTON - A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck yesterday near the South Sandwich Islands, a remote British territory near Antarctica and South America's southern tip, the US Geological Survey said.

The earthquake, which was 10kilometers deep, took place 203 kilometers (126 miles) southeast of Bristol Island and 2,816 kilometers southeast of Punta Arenas, Chile, the USGS said.

US geologists use the moment magnitude scale, which measures the area of the fault that ruptured and the total energy released.