No tsunami threat after 7.6 Solomons quake
GEORGINA STYLIANOU, MICHAEL FIELD
Large waves have been reported in the Solomon Islands after a 7.6 quake, but NZ has escaped the threat of a tsunami.
The state broadcaster in the Solomon Islands said several large waves had hit the island of Makira where about 10,000 people live in the regional capital of Kirakira.
It said when the quake struck people fled the coast, including abandoning the local hospital.
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According to the Pacific Tsunami Watch Centre, the epicentre of the quake was located 324 kilometres south-east of the Solomon Islands capital Honiara.
The earthquake was originally registered as magnitude 8.3 but was later revised down to 7.6 by the US Geological Survey.
Several buildings have come down but there were no reports of death or injury.
Red Cross New Zealand volunteer Ken Lewis, based in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, said the magnitude 7.6 earthquake was "pronounced and long".
"There was no missing it ... it woke me up."
Lewis said there was a tsunami warning in place but the sea currently looked "like a milk pond".
He said the capital was getting back on its feet after the destructive flash flooding that hit the region earlier this month.
He did not know of any earthquake damage in the capital city.
"It was strong but I don't think it was strong enough to do any major damage."
In New Zealand, Civil Defence national public information manager Vince Cholewa said tsunami experts had assessed the risks and called off any threat. However there would be strong and different currents along the coast and people in the water and boaties needed to be careful, Cholewa said.
Harbours and estuaries would be particularly bad for most of the day.
Christchurch also experienced two earthquakes this morning.
A 'strong' 4.2 quake struck 5km south-east of Christchurch at 8.36am at a depth of 5km.
A moderate 3.8 quake followed three minutes later at the same location and depth.
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Fairfax NZ, agencies