6.9 quake strikes near Solomon Islands, tsunami warning lifted

© earthquake.usgs.gov
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center called off its 300-kilometer radius tsunami warning minutes after a shallow, powerful earthquake struck some 80 kilometers off Lata, in the Solomon Islands. The quake’s magnitude has been downgraded from 7.5 to 6.9.

The epicenter of the earthquake was centered northwest of Lata, a provincial capital, at a depth of 10 kilometers, according to the US Geological Survey.

PTWC called off its tsunami warning in a follow-up message. No information on damage or casualties in the vicinity of the quake's epicenter was immediately available.

While some 550 people live in the town near the epicenter, the preliminary warning issued by the PTWC had covered a much wider region including states from the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea to Australia and even New Zealand.

“Hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are possible within 300 kilometers (186 miles) of the epicenter along the coasts of the Solomon Islands,” PTWC said.

READ MORE: 6.5 earthquake, aftershock strikes off Solomon Islands