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8.0M earthquake in South Pacific islands triggers tsunami warning

A tsunami warning was issued after a powerful 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck near the South Pacific islands on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. (USGS.gov)
February 5, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A tsunami warning was issued after a powerful 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck near the South Pacific islands.

However, a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami was not expected and there was no tsunami threat to Hawaii. All tsunami warnings and watches were canceled a few hours later.

The warning was issued after the temblor struck 50 miles west of Lata , in the Solomon Islands, just northeast of Australia, around 5:15 p.m. PT at a depth of 3.6 miles. A 6.4-magnitude aftershock followed about 10 minutes later, and then a 6.6-manitude aftershock came about 30 minutes after that.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the tsunami warning was issued for Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and surrounding areas. There was also a tsunami watch for American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand and eastern Indonesia.

There was no tsunami warning for any part of the United States.

According to the agency, sea level readings indicate a tsunami was generated.

It was not immediately known if the quakes caused damage or injuries. There were unconfirmed reports of deaths.


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