A powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake set off a tsunami that killed at least five people in a remote part of the Solomon Islands on Wednesday and triggered evacuations across the South Pacific as island nations issued tsunami alerts.
A small tsunami wave reached part of the Solomons and watches were in effect as far afield as Hawaii, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said. New Zealand was also on guard, but monitors said there was no threat to Australia.
The US Geological Survey said the quake struck at 0112 GMT near the Santa Cruz Islands in the Solomons, which have been hit by a series of strong tremors over the past week, at a depth of 5.8 kilometres.Two powerful aftershocks of 6.4 and 6.6 magnitude were also recorded. “Sea level readings indicate a tsunami was generated,” the Hawaii-based Pacific centre said.