A powerful magnitude 8.0 earthquake off the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific triggered a tsunami of up to 5 feet high, damaging several villages and leaving several people missing, presumed dead. Five villages on Santa Cruz and neighboring islands were reported to have been struck, two or three of which were severely damaged. Thanks to Alaric Bond and Phil Leon for contributing to this post.
The tsunami formed after a magnitude-8.0 quake near the town of Lata, on Santa Cruz in Temotu, the easternmost province in the Solomons, about a three-hour flight from the capital, Honiara. Temotu has a population of around 30,000
The Solomons comprise more than 200 islands with a population of about 552,000 people. The islands lie on the “Ring of Fire” – an arc that stretches around the Pacific rim and where about 90% of the world’s quakes occur.
The US geological survey said Wednesday’s quake struck 81km (50 miles) west of Lata at a depth of 28.7km.