Sydney, Dec 9, 2016: A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.7 has struck off the Solomon Islands, raising a tsunami alert for the region.
The epicentre of the quake, which hit at 4:38 am (local time) was located 68 kilometres (42 miles) south-west of Kirakira, a provincial capital in the Solomon Islands, or 211 kilometres (127 miles) south-east of Honiara. It struck at a shallow depth of just 48 kilometres.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) puts the preliminary magnitude of the earthquake at 7.7, down from an initial estimate of 8.0 and added that some casualties and damage were possible from the quake.
However, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has earlier issued a tsunami alert for the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, New Caledonia and Tuvalu and Kosrae.
Meanwhile, after hours the US-based Warning Centre cancelled a tsunami alert it had issued for parts of the South Pacific soon after a powerful earthquake.