Solomon Islands earthquake: Tsunami warning lifted after powerful 7.8 quake

A tsunami warning has been lifted in parts of the of the South Pacific following a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake off the Solomon Islands.

Solomon Islands earthquake: Tsunami warning lifted after powerful 7.8 quake

A tsunami warning has been lifted in parts of the  of the South Pacific following a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake off the Solomon Islands.

The earthquake hit less than 30 kilometres off the island of Makira and 70 kilometres south-west of the island's city of Kirakira - about 4:38 a.m. local time Friday, the US Geological Survey said.

The earthquake on Friday was "eerily similar" to the mid-November Kaikoura quake that smashed the northeast of the South Island. Both were magnitude 7.8 events, a person who experienced both said.



Collapsed buildings have been reported on the island of Makira, the closest to the epicentre of the massive undersea quake. Authorities started assessing damage at first light in the island chain and are waiting for more information to come in. Most communities contacted had already evacuated, news agencies reported. No casualties have been confirmed so far.


A helicopter has been sent to assess the situation in Malaita, which is home to about a quarter of the Solomon Islands population of 600,000, reported BBC.

The largest observed wave, according to sea level gauges, was only 0.12 meters near Honiara on the island of Guadalcanal, some 200 kilometres north-west of the epicentre.


After the major quake, a series of almost a dozen aftershocks, including one measured at magnitude 5.9, continued through the day.

The Solomon Islands are along the "Ring of Fire," a zone of seismic activity and volcanoes around the edges of the Pacific Ocean. It's a vast area where about 90% of the world's earthquakes occur, according to the USGS.