7.9 magnitude natural disaster in Solomon Islands

A magnitude 8 natural disaster has hit the Solomon Islands and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says it could generate tsunami waves on nearby islands.

The quake was 153 kilometers (95.5 miles) deep and centered 40 kilometers (24 miles) west of the town of Panguna, according to the US Geological Survey.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) said that widespread hazardous tsunami waves between 0.3 and one metre are possible as a result of the quake for the next three hours.

PNG and the Solomon Islands sit on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a belt of volcanic and seismic activity that rings the Pacific Ocean.

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It was originally reported as a magnitude 8.0, but has since been revised to 7.9.

Aloysius Laukai from Bougainville's New Dawn FM said the quake was strongly felt around the region, but there are no reports through yet of deaths, injury or major damage.

There are no immediate reports of casualties or damage. It wound back an earlier alert that encompassed Nauru, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Vanuatu, Chuuk and Indonesia. Officials in Australia and New Zealand have assessed the potential tsunami situation and have assured that there is no such threat to their coastlines.

Although USGS has not issued or confirmed any Tsunami warning, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued a possible tsunami threat.