Quantcast
Latest Stories

At least 5 dead as 8.0 quake off Solomons sparks Pacific tsunami


HONIARA—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 meter (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 kilometers (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 center said after the 8.0 quake, before lifting its tsunami alert for several island nations.

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

Locals in the Solomons capital Honiara, 580 kilometers (360 miles) from the epicenter, 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 meters.

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.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Death Toll , Earthquake , Natural Disasters , Solomon Islands , Tsunami




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  5. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  6. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  7. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  8. Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  9. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  10. Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Ex-church leader nabbed for selling drugs
  • Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury
  • Luisita farmers storm DAR compound
  • Trillanes, Ejercito confident they are not in Napoles’ list
  • Easterlies to prevail in Luzon, Visayas
  • Sports

  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Mavs roll past Spurs 113-92, even series at 1-1
  • Phelps having fun in his return to swimming
  • Murray breaks down in tears at Scottish ceremony
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement