UK & World News

  • 13 April 2014, 15:29

Solomon Islands Hit By Second Major Earthquake

Two major earthquakes have struck the Solomon Islands in less than 24 hours.

Residents on the Pacific island chain were woken on Sunday morning to a strong tremor with a magnitude of 7.6, leading to a tsunami warning to be issued.

Although this was later cancelled, people on nearby islands reported seeing three large waves.

Then on Sunday night, a second quake of 7.5 magnitude hit in the same area, triggering a further tsunami alert.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The Solomon Islands was already reeling from flash floods that struck on April 3, killing 23 people and leaving 9,000 homeless.

Government spokesman George Herming said: "It has been a really tough time."

The US Geological Survey says the area of the earthquake "is one of the most seismically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates".

The epicentre of the first quake was 200 miles (323km) southeast of the capital Honiara, at a depth of 18 miles.

The second, initially reported as 7.7 magnitude, struck at a depth of 22 miles.

Following the morning quake, Andrew Catford, the Solomon Islands country director for the international children's charity World Vision, said staff on Makira had reported heavy waves and strong currents..

Workers had evacuated to higher ground as a precaution.

He said: "We felt this one strongly in Honiara. It was close to 30 seconds long."

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