A massive 7.7 magnitude earthquake has struck off the Solomon Islands on Friday morning, triggering a tsunami warning in a wide area of the South Pacific.
According to the US Geological Survey, the tremor hit 63km south-west of Kirakira at a depth of about 49km at 4:38am. It was initially reported to be of magnitude 8.0 but has since been downgraded.
“Hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are possible within the next three hours along some coasts of Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, New Caledonia, Tuvalu and Kosrae,” the US-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.
Authorities are looking to see if there is a tsunami threat to Hawaii.
“Based on all available data, a tsunami may have been generated by this earthquake that could be destructive on coastal areas even far from the epicenter. An investigation is underway to determine if there is a tsunami threat to Hawaii,” the PTWC said.
The estimated earliest arrival of any tsunami wave there would be 2:56 pm Hawaii Standard Time (11:56 AEST).
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology’s Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre said there is no tsunami risk to the Australian mainland, islands or territories. New Zealand Civil Defence said there’s no threat to New Zealand. There have been no immediate reports of damage or injuries at this stage. Meanwhile, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake also rocked northern California overnight. The quake on Thursday about 165 kilometres west of Ferndale, California, at a depth of 10km, according to the USGS.
There was no immediate reports of damage.