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Earthquake hits Solomon Islands
Quake of 7.1 magnitude triggers warning for local tsunamis.
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2010 11:07 GMT
A string of quakes that hit the Solomon Islands in January left many homeless [EPA]

A major quake of magnitude 7.1 has hit the Solomon Islands, the US Geological Survey has said.

It said the quake's epicentre was 32.2 miles (52km) deep, 60 miles (97km) southwest of the Solomon Islands' Kira Kira in the Pacific Ocean.

It hit at 8:40pm (0940 GMT) on Sunday.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said the quake, initially reported as a magnitude 7.5, could "generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within 100km of the earthquake epicentre."

Quake prone

Like much of the Pacific, the Solomons regularly experiences earthquakes.

A string of quakes rocked the western Solomon Islands in January, with the largest of 7.2 causing a tsunami estimated at eight feet (nearly 2.5 metres).

About 1,000 people - almost a third of the population - were believed to have been left homeless on Rendova Island due to the resultant damage.

In April 2007, an 8.0-magnitude earthquake in the western Solomons triggered a tsunami that killed more than 50 people and displaced thousands.

In September last year, a devastating tsunami swept along coasts in the Pacific islands of Samoa and Tonga, killing 186 people and wiping out entire villages.

Villages and resorts in Samoa, American Samoa and northern Tonga were flattened by the giant waves generated by the massive earthquake, the strongest in nearly a century. 

Source:
Agencies
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