Tsunami warning after magnitude 7.0 earthquake strikes off Solomon Islands, Australia not affected

Tsunami warning issued as magnitude 7.0 earthquake strikes off Solomon Islands – after five quakes in the region and just hours after one killed 162 in Indonesia

  • Tsunami warning issued for Solomon Islands after 7.0 magnitude earthquake
  • Solomon Islands prime minister urged residents to move to higher ground
  • An undersea earthquake also struck off the coast of NSW this morning
  • A 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia’s West Java province earlier
  • At least 162 people died and 700 are hurt, mostly in the town of Cianjur

A tsunami warning has been issued after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Solomon Islands just after midday.

The US Tsunami Warning System issued a tsunami warning following an earthquake in Malango in the Solomon Islands at 1.03pm AEDT.

A second earthquake measuring 6.0 struck nearby 30 minutes later, with five earthquakes recorded within a 90-minute period in the region.

The 7.0 magnitude quake’s epicentre was registered around 56km southwest of the capital, Honaira, according to the United States Geological Survey. 

The Bureau of Meteorology tweeted that Australia was under no tsunami threat as a result of the quake.  

A tsunami warning has been issued for the Solomon Islands after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Solomon Islands just after midday

A strong 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Solomon Islands with eyewitnesses reporting violent shaking that hurled items to the ground and knocked out power in parts of the capital Honiara

A strong 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Solomon Islands with eyewitnesses reporting violent shaking that hurled items to the ground and knocked out power in parts of the capital Honiara

The US Tsunami Warning System predicted waves to reach between 0.3 metres and one metre above the tide level for some of the Solomon Islands’ coastline.

In Papua New Guinea tsunami waves are also forecast but are expected to be less than 0.3 metres. 

Locals in the capital Honiara reported feeling violent shaking causing items to fall to the ground.

It is understood parts of the capital have also lost power. 

The Solomon Islands sit on the Pacific Ring of Fire – an arc along the Pacific Ocean rim known for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. 

Earlier on Tuesday an undersea earthquake struck off the coast of New South Wales.

The magnitude 3.3 earthquake hit just before 8am off the coast of Bateman’s Bay on the south coast.  

There have been no reports of damage, and no one in Australia has reported feeling the quake.

A magnitude 3.3 undersea earthquake struck off the southern NSW coast shortly before 8am

A magnitude 3.3 undersea earthquake struck off the southern NSW coast shortly before 8am

The tremor comes just a day after an earthquake hit Indonesia’s main island killing more than 160 and injuring 700 last night.

The magnitude 5.6 tremor hit West Java near the town of Cianjur, around 45 miles south of the capital Jakarta, at 1.21pm local time.

The quake triggered a landslide and collapsed buildings in hard-hit Cianjur – where most of the deaths were reported – but also shook tower blocks in Jakarta for three terrifying minutes as people rushed on to the streets. 

More than 2,000 houses were damaged and 13,000 people have been displaced and taken to evacuation centres as a result, according to local authorities.

Shallow quakes tend to be more destructive than deeper earthquakes because deeper quakes travel further to the surface, losing energy along the way.

‘I regret to inform that 162 are dead,’ West Java governor Ridwan Kamil said in a video. Adam, the spokesman for the local administration in Cianjur town in West Java, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, confirmed the toll to AFP.

People wounded in an earthquake that struck near the town of Cianjur, in Indonesia, receive treatment in the car park of a local hospital after the ward was overwhelmed

People wounded in an earthquake that struck near the town of Cianjur, in Indonesia, receive treatment in the car park of a local hospital after the ward was overwhelmed

Civilians wounded by the earthquake that struck Cinajur, a town on Indonesia’s main island of West Java, lay on stretchers outside a local hospital as they are treated by medics

The remains of a building flattened in the earthquake which struck the island of West Java are seen in the town of Cianjur

The remains of a building flattened in the earthquake which struck the island of West Java are seen in the town of Cianjur

Several landslides were reported around Cianjur. Dozens of buildings were damaged, including an Islamic boarding school, a hospital and other public facilities.

Herman Suherman, a local, said 20 deaths and 300 injuries had been counted in a single hospital – and that toll is likely to rise as more buildings are searched.

He said relatives of victims had congregated at the town’s Sayang hospital.

‘We are currently handling people who are in an emergency state in this hospital. The ambulances keep on coming from the villages to the hospital,’ he said.

‘There are many families in villages that have not been evacuated.’

The quake was felt strongly in the greater Jakarta area. High rises in the capital swayed and some were evacuated.

‘The quake felt so strong. My colleagues and I decided to get out of our office on the ninth floor using the emergency stairs,’ said Vidi Primadhania, an employee in South Jakarta.

Earthquakes occur frequently across the sprawling archipelago nation, but it is uncommon for them to be felt in Jakarta.

Cianjur police chief Doni Hermawan told Metro TV authorities had rescued a woman and a baby from a landslide but a third person they found had died of their injuries.

The quake’s epicentre was a few miles to the west of Cianjur, which seems to be the worst-hit town, but also caused high-rise buildings to shake in the capital Jakarta

Other broadcasters showed several buildings in Cianjur with their roofs collapsed and debris lining the streets.

The country’s meteorological agency warned residents near the quake to watch out for more tremors.

‘We call on people to stay outside the buildings for now as there might be potential aftershocks,’ the head of Indonesia’s meteorological agency, Dwikorita Karnawati, told reporters.

There were no reports of casualties or major damage in the capital of Jakarta, where people rushed out of buildings.

Mayadita Waluyo, a 22-year-old lawyer, described how panicked workers ran for the exits of their building in Jakarta as the quake struck.

Street signs buckle and rubble from houses blocks the street (right) in the town of Cianjur after it was hit by a powerful earthquake on Monday

‘I was working when the floor under me was shaking. I could feel the tremor clearly. I tried to do nothing to process what it was but it became even stronger and lasted for some time,’ she said.

‘I feel a bit dizzy now and my legs are also a bit cramped because I had to walk downstairs from the 14th floor.’

Hundreds were waiting outdoors after the quake including some in hard hats to protect from falling debris, an AFP reporter there said.

Indonesia experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity due to its position on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’, where tectonic plates collide.

A 6.2-magnitude quake that shook Sulawesi island in January last year killed more than 100 people and left thousands homeless.

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