Two 6.8-magnitude earthquakes strike off Solomon Islands

Two strong 6.8-magnitude earthquakes shook the Solomon Islands early Saturday. There were no initial reports of damage and no tsunami warnings were issued. The quakes have been followed by fairly typical aftershocks.
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Updated on May 23, 2015 12:45 PM IST
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AFP | By, Sydney

Two strong 6.8-magnitude earthquakes shook the Solomon Islands early Saturday. The first quake hit at a depth of 10km, 205 km from Kirakira and the second shallow quake struck just over two hours later about 159 km from Kirakira.

There were no initial reports of damage and no tsunami warnings were issued.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat of a Pacific-wide tsunami from the Saturday tremors.

There has been recent activity in nearby Papua New Guinea.The quakes have been followed by fairly typical aftershocks.

Seismologist Mark Leonerd said it was slightly unusual to have two big quakes "right next to each other" but seismic activity is common in the region.

Geoscience Australia initially estimated the two latest quakes at the magnitudes of 7.1 and 6.9 but said they were unlikely to cause local tsunamis in the quake-prone region, in part due to their location.

The Solomons are part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire", a zone of tectonic activity known for its frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

In 2013, the Solomons were hit by a tsunami after an 8.0-magnitude quake, leaving at least 10 people dead and thousands homeless.

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