February 06, 2013 at 11:58 AM EST
Earthquake Triggers Tsunami, 5 Dead In Solomon Islands

A tsunami triggered by a powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake killed at least 5 people and damaged dozens of homes in the Solomon Islands this morning.

The earthquake struck close to the Solomon Islands’ eastern Santa Cruz Islands, also known as Temotu province, at a depth of 17.8 miles around 11 a.m. local time. The Pacific Tsunami Warning center initially issued a tsunami warning for Papua New Guinea, Fiji and other islands in the area, but the warning was later lifted when it was determined that the tsunami threat was relevant only to the immediate area of the earthquake. Likewise, a tsunami watch for American Samoa, Australia, Guam, the Northern Marianas, New Zealand and eastern Indonesia was lifted.

Solomon Islands government spokesman George Herming said two five-foot waves struck the western shore of Santa Cruz. Five people died and at least 50 homes were damaged. The dead includes four elderly people and one child. Flooding was reported at a local airport.

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