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Tsunami watch lifted after Pacific quake

Published: 2:43PM Wednesday February 06, 2013 Source: ONE News

Civil Defence have lifted the tsunami threat warning for New Zealand after a magnitude 8 earthquake struck off the coast of the Solomon Islands.

Director of Civil Defence John Hamilton says although emergency operation centres have now been closed down across country, there may continue to be some risk, however it is not significant enough to keep the warning in place.

Officials are warning there could be surges along the West Coast of New Zealand for up to 48 hours and that people should exercise caution and discretion before entering the water or going out in small boats.

The modelling indicated there is a possibility of there being surges and tidal  changes particularly in the very narrow and confined water ways such as around Charleston and Jacksons Bay and the Greymouth/Westport areas, says Hamilton.

Five people, including a boy, were killed when the tsunami struck in the Solomon Islands today.

Villages have been destroyed by a tsunami generated by an 8.0 quake that struck at around 2.12pm NZT 340km east of Kira Kira in the Solomons at a depth of 28.7km, not 5km as previously reported.

The US Tsunami Warning Center has since cancelled the tsunami warning for Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Kosrae, Fiji, Kiribati, Wallis and Futuna.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said earlier that it was aware of the tsunami warning in place for much of the Pacific. 

"Our Posts are monitoring the situation and the High Commission in the Solomon Islands has issued an advisory to New Zealanders registered with us as being there on safe travel website.

"The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has reported a three foot wave has hit the Solomon Islands and we have received no reports of tsunami damage yet," the Ministry said.

Have you seen a tidal surge or changes on the water in your area? Let us know or send us your images and video. Send to news@tvnz.co.nz

Read the full story about the earthquake in the Solomon Islands here . Follow live updates of the South Pacific tsunami here.

 

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