A massive 7.8 earthquake occurred on the South Pacific Islands off the coast of the Pacific Ocean, reports the LA Times. Immediately after the earthquake, tsunami warnings were issued for the islands, including Hawaii.
Since the quake, the warnings have been lifted and the 7.8 quake that struck close to Solomon Islands is no longer a threat for a tsunami.
About the Earthquake
7.8 magnitude is a massive quake for any region, but when it occurs out in the ocean, it creates a high risk for a tsunami.
The earthquake occurred in the evening, followed by numerous aftershocks. It struck just 43 miles away from Kirakira.
There were some power lines and phone lines down in the immediate area, but there were no casualties reported, says BBC.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has stated that there is still a risk of waves that can be as much as 10 feet tall along the Solomon Islands and smaller waves could strike the Papua New Guinea area, says the Washington Post.
There were no widespread injuries reported in the Solomon Islands.
Originally the quake was recorded as a 7.7 magnitude and located 120 miles out from Honiara, which is the capital of the Solomon Islands. The epicenter is estimated to be 30 miles below the ocean’s surface. Typically, a deep quake such as this will rarely cause damage or injuries on the surface.
The Solomon Islands are located along the Ring of Fire in the Pacific Ocean, which has been struck my multiple earthquakes over the past few months.
Malaita Suffered More Damage
Malaita, which is a small island closer to the epicenter had a few reports of collapsed buildings, but the damage is unknown. The director of the Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office said that people had moved to higher ground out of fear of a tsunami, and some places were completely evacuated.
There were minor sea fluctuations reported after the first few hours of the earthquake. There was a wave reported on social media that was estimated to be 20cm near the capital.
About the Ring of Fire
The Ring of Fire is a string of volcanoes and areas of significant seismic activity. 90 percent of the quakes on the Pacific Ocean occur in the Ring of Fire area, and the ring has 75 percent of the active volcanoes on Earth inside of it.
It does not actually circulate; instead, it is more of a horseshoe-shape that is 25,000 miles long and has 452 volcanoes stretching across it. It runs from South America and up along the coast of North America through the Bering Strait, down to Japan, and into New Zealand. There are dormant volcanoes that also reach to the Antarctic area, and they could potentially become active again.
There are a series of deep trenches along the Pacific Ocean that goes through the Ring of Fire, which is why it is prone to earthquakes.