Tsunami Warning Issued In South Pacific After Magnitude-7.6 Earthquake

Sunday, April 1st 2007, 5:47 pm
By: News On 6

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ A powerful magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck off the Solomon Islands on Monday morning, prompting a tsunami warning for other South Pacific states and a lower-level alarm for Hawaii.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake struck at 7:39 a.m. about 6 miles beneath the sea floor, 217 miles northwest of the Solomons capital of Honiara.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said an earthquake of that strength could cause a destructive tsunami and issued a warning for the Solomon Islands and neighboring Papua New Guinea.

It ordered a lower-level ``tsunami watch'' for other places, including most South Pacific countries. The center said it was monitoring the situation and that Hawaii's status could be elevated to warning or watch.

The agency said it was not known if the earthquake caused a tsunami and that the warnings were based on the strength of the temblor.

A tsunami was also possible at Willis Island and Cooktown in far northeastern Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology's National Meteorological and Oceanographic Centre said.