7.7 earthquake strikes in the Solomon Islands

The U.S. Geological Survey says a powerful magnitude-7.7 earthquake has struck near the Pacific's Solomon Islands, prompting the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to warn that tsunami waves were possible in several South Pacific islands.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center had issued a tsunami watch for the state of Hawaii, but that warning has since been cancelled.

The quake was centered about 120 miles southeast of Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands. The epicenter was relatively deep at 30 miles below the surface. Deeper quakes generally cause less damage on the ground.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cautioned that tsunami waves were possible in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, New Caledonia, Tuvalu and in Kosrae, in the Federated States of Micronesia.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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