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Tsunami Hits Solomons Following Major Quake; Region on Alert

A magnitude-8 earthquake hit the Solomon Islands Wednesday, triggering a small tsunami and placing much of the South Pacific on alert.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck near the Santa Cruz Islands in the Solomons at a depth of about six kilometers.

Following the quake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a tsunami measuring .9 meters hit the Solomons. There were no immediate reports of major damage from the quake or the tsunami.

A powerful aftershock of magnitude 6.4 also was recorded.



A tsunami warning remains in effect for all of the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Kosrae, Fiji, Kiribati, and Wallis and Futuna.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said tsunami watches also were up as far afield as Hawaii, and New Zealand also was on guard. But early reports said no threat to Australia was anticipated.

The Solomon Islands are part of the so-called "Ring of Fire," a zone of tectonic activity around the Pacific Ocean that is subject to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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