Barely a day after a deadly earthquake struck the Indonesian province of Aceh on the island of Sumatra, a magnitude 7.8 quake occurred just off the coast of the Solomon Islands thousands of miles to the east. CNN reports the seismic event, and a subsequent 5.5 earthquake, happened in the vicinity of the island Makira at around 4:38 a.m. local time. The extent of the damage — if any — is unknown, but experts fear the coasts of the Solomon Islands and nearby Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, New Caledonia, Tuvalu and Kosrae may be susceptible to significant tsunami activity.
According to CNN, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a preliminary statement regarding the severity of the earthquake and its ongoing efforts to determine if a tsunami was formed:
Based on all available data, a tsunami may have been generated by this earthquake that could be destructive on coastal areas, even far from the epicenter. An investigation is underway to determine if there is a tsunami threat to Hawaii.
Tali Hong, a resident of the capital city of Honiara, tweeted about the earthquake just after it subsided:
In a subsequent interview with CNN, Hong claimed “the earthquake was one of the biggest and longest I have ever felt.” She said “there is not visible damage,” but added “we have no electricity at the moment.”