Solomon Islands shaken by huge earthquake, tsunami alert issued


Pacific nation’s government advises people to move to higher ground following magnitude 7.0 quake

A large earthquake has been reported near the Solomon Islands in the Pacific.

A tsunami warning was issued for an area of the coast within 300km (185 miles) of the epicentre, and the prime minister’s office urged people to move to higher ground.

Michael Salini, a businessman and political commentator on Tulagi Island, which lies across from Honiara, told Al Jazeera that people were “very worried”.

“Everyone has run up the hills and [are waiting] for any possible tsunami warning,” he added, saying that most people were aware of the signs of a tsunami.

The earthquake cut power to some areas of Honiara and the state broadcaster was also down, but the government said there was no major damage to buildings in the capital.

“This was a big one,” Joy Nisha, a receptionist with the Heritage Park Hotel in the capital Honiara, told the AFP news agency. “Some of the things in the hotel fell. Everyone seems OK, but panicky.”

The United States Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the Malango region, about 55km (34 miles) west of the capital, at a depth of 15km (9 miles). It revised the size of the tremor from an earlier magnitude of 7.3.

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