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A powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake set off a tsunami that killed at least five people in a remote part of the Solomon Islands on Wednesday (February 6) and triggered evacuations across the South Pacific as island nations issued tsunami alerts.
Photographs taken by World Vision after the tsunami hit showed the location of homes and buildings in Lata province that were swept away by a series of tidal surges.
The quake struck 340 km (211 miles) east of Kira Kira in the Solomons, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said as it issued warnings for the Solomons and other South Pacific nations including Australia and New Zealand. It later cancelled the warnings for the outlying regions.
A tsunami measuring 0.9 metres (three feet) hit near the town of Lata on the remote Santa Cruz island, swamping some villages and the town's main airport as people fled to safety on higher ground.
More than three dozen aftershocks up to magnitude 6.6 rocked the region in the hours after the quake, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
One picture shows debris littering the airfield at Lata airport which was partially inundated World Vision said. The NGO said it is using boats to access the area, carrying food and water to as many as 700 families who have lost their homes.
An earthquake with a preliminary 6.2 magnitude struck near the Solomon Islands on Thursday (February 7), the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The latest quake was measured 10 km (6 miles) deep, 362 km east southeast of Kira Kira, near the epicentre of the 8.0 magnitude quake that hit on Wednesday.
There was no immediate tsunami warning or word of any further damage in the remote region.