Solomon Islands earthquake: 7.0 magnitude quake strikes another Australian neighbour


A massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake has struck near the Solomon Islands.

The major tremor struck just off the coast of the islands about 1pm on Tuesday, according to Geoscience Australia.

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It hit about 17km south west of Malango at a depth of 10km, the United States Geological Survey says.

A second quake, with a magnitude of 6.0, struck nearby 30 minutes later.

Geoscience Australia has recorded several aftershocks in the area.

The quake triggered a tsunami warning by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which said hazardous waves were possible for coasts within 300km of the epicentre of Tuesday’s quake.

Waves up to 1 metre above tide level were flagged for the Solomon Islands, however, the initial warning was soon cancelled.

The Solomon Islands Meteorological Service said there was no tsunami threat to the country but warned about unusual sea currents in coastal areas.

Two aftershocks have been felt on the islands. Credit: Geoscience Australia

The Bureau of Meteorology confirmed there is no tsunami threat to Australia.

The Solomons prime minister’s office urged people to move to higher ground following the quake.

A spokesman for the PM said no major damage to buildings in the centre of the capital Honiara had been reported.

The National Disaster Management Office said it had received reports that people felt the quake but were waiting for reports of damage.

“People in Honiara moved up to higher ground in the minutes after the earthquake but some have now moved down,” an official told Reuters by phone.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the roof of the Australian High Commission building in Honiara had collapse but all staff are safe.

He said staff have been moved to higher ground and flagged the safety of all Australians in Solomon Islands was difficult to confirm due to telecommunications being disrupted by power outages.

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It comes as Indonesia’s main island of Java was on Monday rocked by a 5.6 magnitude quake, which killed more than 160 people.

The US Geological Survey said the quake was centered in the Cianjur region in West Java province, about 75km southeast of the capital Jakarta, at a depth of 10 kilometers.

West Java governor Ridwan Kamil said on Instagram that 162 people had been killed and 326 were injured.

Australia was also hit by a tremor when a 3.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the east coast on Tuesday morning.

The quake struck near Batemans Bay on the NSW South Coast at a depth of 10km about 7.44am, Geoscience Australia said.

– With AAP

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