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6.6-magnitude quake hits off Solomon Islands




A shallow 6.6-magnitude quake hit off the Solomon Islands on Saturday, the United States Geological Survey said, but there was no Pacific-wide tsunami expected.

The quake struck some 214 kilometres (132 miles) west of the town of Lata but 460 kilometres from the capital Honiara, USGS said.

“Based on all the available data a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said in an advisory.

The Solomons are part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a zone of tectonic activity known for frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions.

Geoscience Australia also estimated Saturday’s quake at 6.6 magnitude but said it was unlikely to have been destructive.

“They will get a bit of a shake but probably not much more than that,” said duty seismologist Jonathan Bathgate.

A 6.9-magnitude undersea tremor rocked the capital Honiara on Monday with no reports of serious damage.

It followed a a 7.0-magnitude quake which struck last month off the coast of the island chain. No damage from that tremor was reported.

However, in 2013, 10 people died and thousands were left homeless when buildings were destroyed after the Solomons were hit by a tsunami following an 8.0-magnitude quake.

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