The quake, with a magnitude of 8.0, struck close to the Santa Cruz islands causing a tsunami to hit Lata on eastern Santa Cruz island, swamping the island’s airport
.A tsunami warning was triggered for several Pacific nations including New Zealand, but was cancelled about two hours later, reports the BBC.The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center warned that some coastal areas may still experience small changes in sea level
The worst of the damage has been to the western coast of Santa Cruz, where the waves reached as high as 1.5m. Medical staff at Lata hospital said five people had been killed, one of who was a young boy.A government spokesperson said that the waves west of Lata had travelled some 500m inland, and that three villages had been damaged.
Since the quake there have been several aftershocks, the largest measuring 6.6 magnitude.The Solomon Islands are part of the “Ring of Fire”, a zone of tectonic activity around the Pacific Ocean that is subject to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
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