A tsunami watch is in effect in Australia, New Zealand, and other places in the South Pacific after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands, the U.S. Geological Survey is reporting.
The strong quake hit in the Santa Cruz islands, a group of islands to the southeast of the Solomon Islands Chain. It struck 50 miles west of Lata, a provincial capital in the Solomon Islands, at a shallow depth of 5.8 kilometers, the AP reports.
Shortly after the earthquake, a three-foot tsunami wave was recorded at Lata Wharf, near the quake's epicenter, according to an update from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
Several aftershocks have also been recorded in the region,including a 6.4-magnitude quake, according to the USGS.
The Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Kosrae, Fiji, Kiribati, and Wallis and Futuna are currently under a tsunami warning, according to the PTWC.
A tsunami watch is in effect for New Zealand, American Samoa, Tonga, Australia, the Marshall Islands, Guam, and other islands in the region.
The government of New Zealand has issued a potential threat for several areas, including North Cape, Auckland West, East Cape, Gisborne, Auckland East, New Plymouth, and Wellington while officials assess the situation.
Officials in Hawaii said that there was no threat of a tsunami to the state, according to the Pacific Tsunami Center. And Japan's meteorological agency said it did not expect to issue a warning, according to AlertNet.
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