Buildings damaged but no tsunami warning for Solomon Islands after 7.0 earthquake

SYDNEY, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Solomon Islands authorities said a tsunami warning would not be issued after two strong earthquakes struck on Tuesday, damaging the Australian embassy and airport and causing power cuts in the capital. , Honiara.

The first quake struck offshore at a depth of 15 km (9 miles), about 16 km southwest of the Malango area, the US Geological Survey said, initially pegging its magnitude at 7.3 before revising it. to a magnitude of 7.0.

A second quake, with a magnitude of 6.0, struck nearby 30 minutes later.

“There are no known injuries, but the roof of the High Commission annex has collapsed, which would indicate possible damage throughout the city,” Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told parliament.

The roof of Honiara International Airport was damaged but the building was intact, a Solomon Islands airline worker at the airport told Reuters by phone.

Aftershocks are still being felt, he said, declining to be identified because he is not authorized to speak publicly. Airport staff would continue to work, but the damaged section of the airport terminal was closed to passengers.

The Solomon Times newspaper reported that power was out in most of Honiara, while preliminary assessments of damage to power lines are made.

The Solomon Islands Weather Service said there was no tsunami threat but warned of unusual tidal currents.

“People are also advised to be vigilant as aftershocks are expected to continue,” an employee said on social media.

Widespread power outages are reported across the island and the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation said on Facebook that all radio services were off the air.

The National Disaster Management Office said it received reports that people felt the quake but were awaiting damage reports.

“People in Honiara moved to higher ground in the minutes after the earthquake, but now some have moved down,” an official told Reuters by telephone.

Reporting by Kirsty Needham in Sydney and Akanksha Khushi in Bangalore; Written by Alasdair Pal and Lewis Jackson; Edited by Tom Hogue and Stephen Coates

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