Magnitude 8 Earthquake Triggers Tsunami Near Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands, Earthquake, Solomon Earthquake

An 8.0-magnitude earthquake near Australia triggered a tsunami of up to five feet that damaged about 50 homes and killed at least five people in the Solomon Islands on Wednesday.

The tsunami hit the western side of Santa Cruz Island.

The massive earthquake struck at about 12:12 p.m. local time with an epicenter 50 miles west of Lata, at a depth of 5.8 kilometers, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Three villages were reportedly destroyed by the quake.

“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,’’ director of Lata Hospital on the main Santa Cruz Island said.

One News is also reporting that the hospital also confirmed that there have been five deaths as a result of the tsunami. Two of the dead were an elderly man and a woman, and another a young boy between 10 and 12 years old.

Earlier warnings for a tsunami elsewhere have been cancelled. The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said there is no threat to the U.S.