HONIARA: A major 8.0 magnitude earthquake jolted the Solomon Islands today with small tsunami waves buffeting Pacific coasts, leaving at least five people dead and dozens of homes damaged or destroyed.
A quake-generated wave of just under one metre (three feet) reached parts of the Solomons, and Vanuatu and New Caledonia also reported rising sea levels, before a region-wide tsunami alert was lifted.
The waves reached as far away as Japan, which was hit by a huge tsunami in March 2011 that killed more than 19,000 people.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency reported a 20-centimetre wave hitting the Ogasawara island chain south of Tokyo eight hours after the quake struck.
Smaller waves were later recorded on Japan’s main island of Honshu.