Tsunami advising cancelled after South Pacific earthquake

Quake of 7.7 magnitude sets residents on alert in Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and other island countries

Buildings have been damaged in the Solomon Islands after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast early on Friday, but fears of a tsunami receded after initial warns to numerous islands.

Loti Yates, from the National Disaster Management Office in the capital Honiara, told Australias ABC there were reports of houses disintegrating in parts of the country, including on the island of Makira, the largest in Makira-Ulawa province.

He told communications were poor, but he had received reports that some dwellings, houses etc have been collapsed due to the shake.

[ One community] that has been in touch with us said they are calling from up the hills, which is good, they activated their own emergency schemes and know what to do, so we are happy.

The quake sparked a tsunami warning across a wide region of the South Pacific after it struck at a depth of about 49 km at 4.38 am local hour on Friday.

But in later advice, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said all available data indicated security threats had largely passed.

The centre had warned of possible tsunami waves for islands including the Solomons, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, New Caledonia, Tuvalu and Kosrae.

Hawaii was also briefly set placed under a tsunami watch.

Based on all available data, there is no tsunami menace to the country of Hawaii, the PTWC told.

Australian and New Zealand authorities said there was no hazard to the coastlines of either country.

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