Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

FOCUS

Many Turks angry over Syrian refugee situation

Read more

ENCORE!

Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday : The Best of the Bard

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Wreckage of Algeria plane found in Mali

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Powerful Solomon Islands quake triggers tsunami

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-02-06

At least five people were killed after a powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands on Wednesday, triggering a small tsunami and prompting alerts across the South Pacific that were later cancelled.

A major 8.0 magnitude earthquake jolted the Solomon Islands Wednesday with small tsunami waves buffeting Pacific coastlines, leaving at least five people dead and dozens of homes damaged or destroyed.

A quake-generated wave of just under one metre (three feet) reached parts of the Solomons, and Vanuatu and New Caledonia also reported rising sea levels, before a region-wide tsunami alert was lifted.

Sirens were heard in Fiji, locals said. "Chaos in the streets of Suva as everyone tries to avoid the tsunami!!" tweeted Ratu Nemani Tebana from the Fiji capital.

Quake-prone Japan, which was hit by a huge tsunami in March 2011 that killed more than 19,000 people, was also on edge with the national weather agency warning that a small tsunami could still come ashore.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cancelled its regional alert for Pacific-island nations at 0350 GMT, about two and a half hours after the powerful quake struck at 0112 GMT near the Santa Cruz Islands in the Solomons.

"We can report five dead and three injured. One of the dead was a male child, three were elderly women and one an elderly man," Chris Rogers, a nurse at Lata Hospital in the Santa Cruz Islands, told AFP.

Solomons Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo's office said four villages on the Santa Cruz Islands had been hit.

"Latest reports suggest that between 60 to 70 homes have been damaged by waves crashing into at least four villages on Santa Cruz Islands," Lilo's spokesman George Herming told AFP.

"At this stage, authorities are still trying to establish the exact number and extent of damage. Communication to (the) Santa Cruz Islands is difficult due to the remoteness of the islands."

It was not immediately apparent whether the victims died in the quake or tsunami.

Solomon Islands Red Cross secretary general Joanne Zoleveke said she too had been told at least three villages were hit, with houses washed away.

"In the Solomon Islands when we talk about villages there can be anything from 10 to 30 houses," she said.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck the Santa Cruz Islands, which have been rocked by a series of strong tremors over the past week, at a depth of 28.7 kilometres (18 miles). The USGS first gave the depth at 5.8 kilometres.

Several powerful aftershocks were also recorded.

"Sea level readings indicate a tsunami was generated," the Hawaii-based Pacific centre said after the 8.0 quake, before lifting its tsunami alert for several island nations.

Australia's earthquake monitoring agency and the Pacific centre said a tsunami wave was measured at 91 centimetres, at Lata, on the main Santa Cruz island of Ndende.

Locals in the Solomons capital Honiara, 580 kilometres (360 miles) from the epicentre, said the quake was not felt there.

Lata Hospital director of nursing Augustine Bilve said some patients were evacuated to higher ground to prepare for any injured from the villages along the coast.

"There was continuous shaking in Lata but no damaged buildings here," he said.

"We were told that after the shaking, waves came to the villages."

In 2007 a tsunami following an 8.0-magnitude earthquake killed at least 52 people in the Solomons and left thousands homeless. The quake was so powerful that it lifted an island and pushed out its shoreline by dozens of metres.

The Solomons are part of the "Ring of Fire", a zone of tectonic activity around the Pacific Ocean that is subject to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Before it was lifted, the tsunami warning was in effect for the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Kosrae, Fiji, Kiribati, and Wallis and Futuna.
 

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-02-06

COMMENT(S)