Tsunami warning as magnitude 7 earthquake hits Solomon Islands

A tsunami warning was issued after a powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands on Tuesday afternoon.

There were no immediate reports of extensive damage or injuries.

Freelance journalist Charlie Piringhi said he was standing outside a warehouse next to an elementary and middle school on the outskirts of the capital Honiara when the earthquake hit and children fled.

“The earthquake shook the place,” he said. “It was huge. We were all in shock and everyone was running everywhere.”

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the epicenter of the quake was in the ocean about 56 kilometers (35 miles) southwest of Honiara, 13 kilometers (8 miles) deep.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said dangerous waves could occur on islands in the region, but advised that the tsunami threat was not expected to become more widespread.

The quake could generate waves up to 1 meter (3 feet) above sea level in the Solomon Islands and smaller waves off the coasts of Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, according to the center.

The Solomon Islands are located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc along the edge of the Pacific where many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

Associated Press