NZ on Tsunami Watch after magnitude 8 earthquake near Solomons

Fox reports

Credit: Hugh Gentry/Reuters

Credit: Hugh Gentry/Reuters

A tsunami alert was issued Wednesday for several South Pacific island nations after a strong earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said sea level readings indicated a tsunami was generated that may be destructive near the epicenter.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 8.0-magnitude quake struck Wednesday 50 miles west of Lata, in the Solomon Islands, at a depth of 3.6 miles.

There were no immediate reports of damage. Josephine Mae, a police official in the Solomon’s capital city of Honiara, said she had not felt any shaking and said police had received no reports of a tsunami being witnessed there.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the tsunami warning is in effect for the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Kosrae, Fiji, Kiribati, Wallis and Futuna. A tsunami watch is in effect for American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand and eastern Indonesia.

This post will be updated as more information comes to hand.   

4:12 pm update

From the Pacific Tsunami Watch

EVALUATION

 SEA LEVEL READINGS INDICATE A TSUNAMI WAS GENERATED. IT MAY HAVE
 BEEN DESTRUCTIVE ALONG COASTS NEAR THE EARTHQUAKE EPICENTER AND
 COULD ALSO BE A THREAT TO MORE DISTANT COASTS. AUTHORITIES SHOULD
 TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS POSSIBILITY. THIS
 CENTER WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR SEA LEVEL DATA TO DETERMINE THE
 EXTENT AND SEVERITY OF THE THREAT.

 FOR ALL AREAS - WHEN NO MAJOR WAVES ARE OBSERVED FOR TWO HOURS
 AFTER THE ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL OR DAMAGING WAVES HAVE NOT
 OCCURRED FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS THEN LOCAL AUTHORITIES CAN ASSUME
 THE THREAT IS PASSED. DANGER TO BOATS AND COASTAL STRUCTURES CAN
 CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS DUE TO RAPID CURRENTS. AS LOCAL
 CONDITIONS CAN CAUSE A WIDE VARIATION IN TSUNAMI WAVE ACTION THE
 ALL CLEAR DETERMINATION MUST BE MADE BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES.
NEW ZEALAND      NORTH_CAPE         34.4S 173.3E    0505Z 06 FEB
                  AUCKLAND_WEST      37.1S 174.2E    0606Z 06 FEB
                  EAST_CAPE          37.7S 178.5E    0615Z 06 FEB
                  GISBORNE           38.7S 178.0E    0639Z 06 FEB
                  AUCKLAND_EAST      36.7S 175.0E    0647Z 06 FEB
                  NEW_PLYMOUTH       39.1S 174.1E    0651Z 06 FEB
                  WELLINGTON         41.3S 174.8E    0703Z 06 FEB
                  MILFORD_SOUND      44.6S 167.9E    0720Z 06 FEB
                  NAPIER             39.5S 176.9E    0727Z 06 FEB
                  WESTPORT           41.8S 171.6E    0730Z 06 FEB
                  DUNEDIN            45.9S 170.5E    0839Z 06 FEB

Above are the estimated arrival times expressed in “Zulu” time, more commonly known as GMT. 6am Zulu is 7pm NZDST.

As New Zealand is on a “watch” and not a “warning”, we shouldn’t expect anything that will cause damage.

4 :23 pm update

The Solomon Islands’ National Disaster Management office advised those living in low-lying areas, especially Makira and Malaita, to move to higher ground.

Locals in the Solomons capital Honiara, 580km  from the epicentre, said the quake was not felt there but some villages were destroyed, according to a hospital director.

“The information we are getting is that some villages west and south of Lata along the coast have been destroyed, although we cannot confirm this yet,” the director at Lata Hospital on the main Santa Cruz island of Ndende, told AFP.   — Daily Telegraph

4:30 pm update

“People are still standing on the hills outside of Honiara just looking out over the water, trying to observe if there is a wave coming in,” said George Herming, a spokesman for the prime minister. So far, he had received no reports that a wave had been observed in Honiara.

Atenia Tahu, who works for the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corp. in Honiara, said most people were remaining calm.

“People around the coast and in the capital are ringing in and trying to get information from us and the National Disaster Office and are slowly moving up to higher ground,” Tahu said. “But panic? No, no, no, people are not panicking.”

An official at the disaster management office in neighboring Vanuatu said there were no reports of damage or injuries there.   — Fox

 


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • Tony V

    Just had an update from there, 5 reported dead so far.

40%