Solomon Islands Hit by Small Tsunami Following 8.0 Magnitude Earthquake
The eastern Solomon Islands were hit by a small tsunami after an 8.0 magnitude earthquake, which triggered tsunami warnings across several south Pacific island nations.
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Reports have emerged of several villages being destroyed due to this calamity. Tsunami warnings have been issued for Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Nauru, Kosrae, Fiji, New Caledonia, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Wallis and Futuna Island.
The earthquake occurred in the easternmost province of the Solomons, near Lata on Santa Cruz Islands in Temotu Province. The region holds almost 30,000 residents. Patients are being evacuated from Lata Hospital in the case of casualties.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake struck 81 kilometers west of Lata, at a depth of 5.8 kilometers.
"Sea level readings indicate a tsunami was generated. It may have been destructive along coasts near the earthquake epicenter and could also be a threat to more distant coasts. Authorities should take appropriate action in response to this possibility," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center was quoted as saying in CNN.
A report from a disaster management office in Vanuatu claims that no damage or injuries have occurred.
In the capital Honiara, after receiving the warning, people have moved to higher grounds and standing on the hills outside of Honiara to catch sight of a huge wave that would approach them, George Herming, a spokesman for the prime minister, was quoted as saying in AFP.
In 2007, a similar tsunami occurred after an 8.1 magnitude earthquake killed 52 people in the Solomons and left many people homeless, reports AFP.