Tsunami warning as magnitude 7 earthquake strikes Solomon Islands

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A powerful magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands Tuesday afternoon, triggering a tsunami warning.

There were no immediate reports of widespread damage or injuries.

Freelance journalist Charley Piringi said he was standing outside a warehouse next to a primary and a secondary school on the outskirts of the capital, Honiara, when the quake struck, sending the children running.

“The earthquake rocked the place,” he said. “It was a huge one. We were all shocked, and everyone is running everywhere.”

The quake’s epicenter was in the ocean about 56 kilometers (35 miles) southwest of Honiara at a depth of 13 kilometers (8 miles), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Hazardous waves are possible for islands in the region, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, but it advised there was no wider tsunami threat expected.

The earthquake may produce waves of up to 1 meter (3 feet) above tide levels for the Solomon Islands, the center said, and smaller waves for the coasts of Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

The Solomon Islands sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a arc along the Pacific Ocean rim where many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

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