by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) Jan 23, 2014
A shallow magnitude 5.0 earthquake struck off the Solomon Islands early Friday, with seismologists putting its epicentre at just one kilometre deep, but no immediate tsunami warning was issued.
The US Geological Survey said the moderate quake struck at about 4:26 am local time (1726 GMT Thursday).
Its epicentre was located in the ocean 70 kilometres (43 miles) south-southeast of Chirovanga, 424 kilometres (262 miles) from the capital Honiara.
There were no immediate reports of damage after the quake.
In 2013, the islands were struck by a major 8.0 magnitude quake that generated small but deadly tsunami waves which washed away houses and reached as far away as Japan.
In 2007 a tsunami following an 8.0-magnitude earthquake killed at least 52 people in the Solomons and left thousands homeless. The quake lifted an entire island and pushed out its shoreline by dozens of metres.
The Solomons are part of the "Ring of Fire", a zone of tectonic activity around the Pacific that is subject to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
In December 2004, a 9.3-magnitude quake off Indonesia triggered a catastrophic tsunami that killed 226,000 people around the Indian Ocean.
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