A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Solomon Islands on Tuesday, sending residents fleeing to higher ground.
The Australian Embassy, airport and shopping centers were damaged. The earthquake also caused power outages in the capital, Honiara.
Solomon Islands government spokesman George Herming said he was in his office on the second floor of a building in the capital, Honiara, when the earthquake hit the city.
“It was a huge event that shocked everyone,” he said.
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Herming continued, “We have tables, desks, books, everything strewn all over the place as a result of the earthquake, but there was no significant damage to buildings or structures.”
The spokesperson said that the Solomon Islands did not have any tall buildings that could be vulnerable to an earthquake, and noted that there was some panic throughout the city and traffic jams as people tried to drive to higher ground.
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The US Geological Survey said the epicenter was in the ocean about 56 kilometers, or 35 miles, southwest of Honiara, at a depth of 13 kilometers, or 8 miles.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially warned of potentially dangerous waves in the area, but later downgraded the tsunami warning level.
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The Solomon Islands lie on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc along the Pacific Rim where volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are frequent.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.