A tsunami has struck after a powerful and shallow earthquake hit off of the Solomon Islands.
The earthquake was a magnitude 8.0 and was followed by at least five aftershocks. It hit at a depth of three miles about 200 miles east of Kira Kira.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii issued a tsunami warning for the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, New Calednoia, Kosrae, Fiji, Kiribati, and Wallis and Futuna islands.
The Telegraph reports that a tsunami watch was also issued for the rest of the South Pacific nations like Indonesia, New Zealand, and Australia.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center added that the earthquake may cause a “destructive tsunami” near the earthquake’s epicenter. A surge of three feet was recorded in one part of the Solomon Islands. A statement read, in part, explains, “Sea level readings indicate a tsunami was generated.”
Lata Hospital’s director on Ndende, the main Santa Cruz island, stated, “The information we are getting is that some villages west and south of Lata along the coast have been destroyed, although we cannot confirm this yet.”
CNN notes that the main earthquake was preceded by a 6.3 magnitude tremor. It was followed by several others, included one with a magnitude of 6.6.
A staff member with the Solomons National Disaster Management Office stated that officials are worried about the Temotu province. The official added, “That’s the province, which if it is going to have an effect, then they will be the first people to be impacted. They felt the quake.”
The Guardian notes that the PTWC did not say how big of a tsunami is expected, though it expected the wave to arrive within a few minutes to a few hours after the earthquake.
There are no reports yet on what damage the earthquake and tsunami have caused. There are also no casualty reports at this time.
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