Earthquake measuring 6.9 strikes off Solomon Islands - USGS

SYDNEY (AFP) – A strong 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck Saturday (Dec 10) off the Solomon Islands, one day after a major quake, raising the threat of hazardous tsunami waves, officials said.

The epicentre of the quake, which hit at 6:10am (3.10am on Saturday, Singapore time), was located 90km west of Kirakira, a provincial capital in the Solomons, at a depth of 10km, the US Geological Survey said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre had said there was no tsunami threat from the quake but later forecasted “hazardous tsunami waves” 1-3m above tide level along some coasts of the Solomons.

It warned of waves up to 0.3m along the coasts of Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

USGS said there was low likelihood of casualties and damage from the quake.

It comes a day after a major 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck off the archipelago, triggering severe shaking and a tsunami warning, but there were no reports of any serious damage.

The Solomon Islands are part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a zone of tectonic activity known for frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions.

In 2007, an 8-magnitude quake in the Solomon Islands claimed 52 lives and left thousands homeless when it created a 10m tsunami.