Powerful earthquake strikes off Solomon Islands, but no tsunami


A powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck off the Solomon Islands early Sunday, US geologists said.

The US Geological Survey said the quake was measured at a depth of around 29 kilometres (18 miles) and was about 300 kilometres south east of Solomon Islands’ capital Honiara.

The US Geological Survey issued a “green alert”, indicating there was a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission initially put out a tsunami warning for the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea, but has since cancelled the alert.

The Solomons have been hit by flash floods in the past week, which have left at least 23 dead.

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As many as 40 people are still missing in Honiara after the city’s main river burst its banks following days of heavy rain, creating a torrent of water that swept away entire communities.

The Solomons are part of the “Ring of Fire”, a zone of tectonic activity around the Pacific that is subject to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Earlier this month, a 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck.

In February last year, the islands were hit by a major 8.0 magnitude quake that generated small but deadly tsunami waves which washed away houses and reached as far away as Japan.

In 2007, a tsunami following an 8.0-magnitude earthquake killed at least 52 people in the Solomons and left thousands homeless. The quake lifted an entire island and pushed out its shoreline by dozens of metres.