7.0 quake hits off Solomon Islands

  • 18/07/2015
7.0 quake hits off Solomon Islands

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of the Solomon Islands, but experts say the threat of a Pacific tsunami has passed.

The shallow tremor was centred about 78 kilometres northwest of Lata in the Solomon Islands, the US Geological Survey said, after revising it down from an initial estimate of 7.5.

Geoscience Australia, which estimated Saturday's quake at 7.3-magnitude, said it was possible a local tsunami could have been generated within several hundred kilometres of the jolt.

But the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said "the tsunami threat from this earthquake has now mostly passed".

"Minor sea level fluctuations of up to 0.3 metres above and below the normal tide may continue over the next few hours," it added.

The Solomons are part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire", a zone of tectonic activity known for its frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

In 2013, the Solomons were hit by a tsunami after an 8.0-magnitude quake, leaving at least 10 people dead and thousands homeless after buildings were destroyed.