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Tsunami warnings end after powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake strikes Solomon Islands

A powerful 7.7- magnitude earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands in the early hours of Friday morning local time.
A powerful 7.7- magnitude earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands in the early hours of Friday morning local time. USGS

A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands in the early hours of Friday morning local time.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) the quake’s epicentre was 63 kilometres south west of Kirakira, with a depth of 40 kilometres.

Earlier, the USGS reported the tremor to be 8.0 in magnitude.

The National Weather Service said earthquakes of this size are known to generate potentially dangerous tsunamis.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami watch for the state of Hawaii. The watch was cancelled a short time later.

“Tsunami waves reaching 1 to 3 meters above the tide level are possible along some coasts,” the agency said in a statement.

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Waves reaching up to one metre were also possible along the coastal regions of Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, the agency warned.

All warnings were lifted about two hours after the initial quake.

The USGS reported a series of aftershocks of 5.1 to 5.5 in magnitude hitting the same region following the initial quake.

There were no reports of damage or injuries as a result of the earthquake.

On Thursday, a strong earthquake struck off the California coast.

The USGS recorded the quake’s epicentre at 165 kilometres off the coast of Ferndale with a shallow depth of 10 kilometres.

The tremor happened just before 7 a.m. local time.

The USGS said the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.5.

No damage or injuries were reported as a result of the California quake.

Both tremors come just days after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia’s Aceh province, killing over 100 people.