Highlights

  • There were no immediate reports of widespread damage or injuries
  • Hazardous waves are possible for islands in the region
  • The Solomon Islands sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire

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People flee to higher grounds as magnitude 7 quake strikes Solomon Islands

The quake's epicentre was in the ocean about 56 kilometres (35 miles) southwest of the capital, Honiara, at a depth of 13 kilometres (8 miles), according to the United States Geological Survey.

A powerful magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands on Tuesday, triggering a tsunami warning with eyewitnesses reporting violent shaking that hurled televisions and other items to the ground.

There were no immediate reports of widespread damage or injuries.

The quake's epicentre was in the ocean about 56 kilometres (35 miles) southwest of the capital, Honiara, at a depth of 13 kilometres (8 miles), according to the United States Geological Survey.

"This was a big one," Joy Nisha, a receptionist with the Heritage Park Hotel in the capital Honiara, told AFP. "Some of the things in the hotel fell. Everyone seems OK, but panicky."

An AFP reporter in the capital said the shaking lasted for around 20 seconds.

Power was out in some areas of the city and people were leaving their offices and fleeing to higher ground.

Hazardous waves are possible for islands in the region, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, but it advised there was no wider tsunami threat expected.

The earthquake may produce waves of up to 1 metre (3 feet) above tide levels for the Solomon Islands, the centre said, and smaller waves for the coasts of Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

The Solomon Islands sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc along the Pacific Ocean rim where many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

with AFP and AP inputs

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