WELLINGTON, New Zealand – 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 center said Friday it was investigating whether there was any tsunami threat to Hawaii.
The quake was centered about 200 kilometers (120 miles) southeast of Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands. The epicenter was relatively deep at 48 kilometers (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.
The Solomon Islands are located in the Pacific's geologically active "Ring of Fire."