Tsunami warning issued after Pacific earthquake

A tsunami warning has been sounded after a powerful 7.7 magnitude tremor hit near to the Solomon Islands in the Pacific. The earthquake struck close to Honiara, the capital city of the islands, although the epicentre was quite deep at 30 miles below the surface, which means it may not cause damage which is too severe on the ground.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, however, is warning that huge waves could hit within the next few hours along the coastlines of the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, New Caledonia, Tuvalu and Kosrae. Initially, a tsunami watch was also issued for Hawaii, but that has now been cancelled as the American state is no longer believed to be in the danger zone.

Vulnerable

It was initially believed that the tremor was magnitude 8.0 but that was downgraded to 7.7. Analysts said there were fears because a large percentage of the population in the southernmost parts of the Solomon Islands, which are expected to be worst hit, lives in homes which are vulnerable to quakes.

One local resident said she had never felt a bigger and more powerful earthquake in the Honiara area in her whole life. She said that she lived in one of the bigger urban areas and had just checked with neighbours and found no signs of damage. However, she did say that the power had gone off.

Just a few minutes after the 7.7 magnitude quake, an aftershock of 5.5 magnitude struck. The area is no stranger to devastating earthquakes. Three years ago, an 8.0 magnitude tremor hit the Solomons, which resulted in tsunami waves of 5ft, which killed at least nine people and damaged many more homes.

 

The latest quake follows many more this year, including tremors in Indonesia, America, China, Italy and Japan. The Solomon Islands earthquake has been one of the highest magnitude tremors across the world so far during 2016.

 

.