Earthquake hits Solomon Islands

By 11:47 Sat, 18 Jul 2015 Comments


A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of the

Solomon Islands on Saturday, the US Geological Survey

said, but the threat of a Pacific tsunami in the tremor-prone

region was thought to have mostly passed.

The shallow tremor was centred about 78 kilometres (48

miles) west-northwest of Lata in the Solomon Islands and

about 583 kilometres from the capital Honiara, it said, after

revising it down from an initial estimate of 7.5.

Geoscience Australia, which estimated the quake at 7.3-

magnitude, said it was possible that a local tsunami could

have been generated within several hundred kilometres

(miles) of the jolt.

But the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center,

which said its estimate on the quake’s size was 6.9, said

that based on all data available “the tsunami threat from

this earthquake has now mostly passed”.

“Minor sea level fluctuations of up to 0.3 metres above and

below the normal tide may continue over the next few

hours,” it added.

The Solomons are part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a zone

of tectonic activity known for its frequent earthquakes and

volcanic eruptions.

“It’s large but it’s not the largest,” Geoscience’s Eddie

Leask told AFP of Saturday’s quake.

“The main risk is obviously the earthquake shaking. This is

an area which regularly experiences these throughout

history.”

In 2013, the Solomons were hit by a tsunami after an 8.0-

magnitude quake, leaving at least 10 people dead and

thousands homeless after buildings were destroyed


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