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Magnitude 7.7 quake hits Solomon Islands, region at risk of tsunami

A 7.7 magnitude earthquake hit off the Solomon Islands early on Friday, triggering a tsunami warning in a wide area of the South Pacific.

The quake struck at 4:38 a.m. (1738 GMT Thursday) at a depth of 49 km (30 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was initially reported to be of magnitude 8.0.

“Hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are possible within the next three hours along some coasts of Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, New Caledonia, Tuvalu and Kosrae,” the U.S.-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) said.

Authorities are looking to see if there is a tsunami threat to Hawaii, the PTWC said, adding that the estimated earliest arrival of any tsunami wave there would be 2:56 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time (0056 GMT Friday).

The PTWC will issue messages hourly until the threat has passed, it said.

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