Solomon Islands Earthquakes at 7.6, 7.4 Trigger Tsunami Warning

Monday, 14 Apr 2014 09:00 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Two earthquakes struck the Soloman Islands on Sunday, triggering a tsunami warning that was subsequently canceled, according to U.S. government agencies.

There were no reports of injuries or damage from either earthquake.

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The first earthquake struck the Pacific island chain at 7:14 a.m. and had a magnitude of 7.6. It occurred about 60 miles south of the city of Kirakira on the island of Makira, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, Reuters reported.

The quake initially registered at a magnitude of 8.3 before it was downgraded, USA Today reported.

The tsunami warning that was initially issued was apparently triggered in part by residents on the island of Makira, the largest of the Solomon Islands. There were three large waves surrounding the islands following the morning quake, according to government spokesman George Herming.

The tsunami warning, however, was subsequently cancelled by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Late Sunday night, a second earthquake with a magnitude-7.4 struck in the same area at a depth of 22 miles, The Associated Press reported.

Prior to Sunday's earthquakes, the island nation was recovering from flash floods that struck on April 3, killing 23 people and leaving 9,000 residents homeless.

"It has really been a tough time," Herming told the AP.

Last February, the Solomon Islands were hit by an 8.0-magnitude earthquake that resulted in a small but deadly tsunami that reportedly killed at least five people. The waves were reportedly felt as far as away as Japan, the Agence France-Presse reported.

Six years earlier in September of 2007, another 8.0-magnitude earthquake killed at least 52 people in the Solomons and reportedly left thousands more homeless.

The Solomon Islands are a string of islands located East of Papua New Guinea with a collective land mass of 28,400 square miles. Having been a British territory, the Solomon Islands broke away from Britain in 1975 and is currently a sovereign country that is home to about 600,000 people.

The reason the Solomon Islands experiences so many earthquakes is because it lies on what is known as the "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines around the Pacific Basin that is prone to seismic upheavals.

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