2 Apr 2007

Tsunami warnings in place after quake hits Solomons

12:48 pm on 2 April 2007

A tsunami warning remains in place for parts of the Pacific following a severe earthquake in the west of Solomon Islands this morning.

The earthquake of 7.8 magnitude on the Richter Scale struck at around 7:30am Solomons time.

The US Geological Survey reported the quake was 10 kilometres deep and around 25 kilometres from the township of Gizo on New Georgia Island, about 345 kilometres west of the capital Honiara.

The tsunami warning from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre applies to the Solomons, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Fiji, Vanuatu and Australia.

The Centre's Stuart Weinstein says a Tsunami Watch is in effect for New Zealand.

"We've had reports of homes being damaged by the tsunami in the Solomons. the most we've seen is about 14 to 15 centimetres at the Honiara gauge. Other than that we're still looking at getting readings from tide gauges but for now we have a very limited warning in effect in the southwest Pacific."

Stuart Weinstein from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre