this was just on our news!! Thank God I live an hour inland!
They say th have increased the warning to include the WHOLE east coast of Australia!!!
Solomons hit by tsunami after powerful Pacific quake
April 2, 2007 - 9:58AM
A tsunami hit towns and villages in the Solomon Islands Monday following a powerful earthquake with unconfirmed reports up to nine people were missing, police said.
The tsunami followed a powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake in the western New Georgia Islands region, which prompted the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre to issue a tsunami warning for countries in the region.
A spokesman for the Solomon Islands Office of Emergency management said there were unconfirmed reports five people were missing after two villages were inundated by the tsunami in the far west of the archipelago.
"We have unconfirmed reports of a tsunami washing parts of the most western end if the Solomons, where two villages ... near Bougainville are reported to be completely inundated," the spokesman told the Australian Broadcasting Commission.
He said there were also unconfirmed reports four people were missing after a landslide in the wake of the quake.
Solomons police spokesman Mick Spinks said there had been sketchy reports of tsunami damage in areas near the quake.
"There have been no reports of casualties yet but you have to bear in mind the communications with many areas is poor," Spinks said.
He said the town of Taro had been hit by a large wave and there were reports of buildings being damaged. The settlement of Lofung had also reported being hit by a large wave with residents evacuating to higher ground, Spinks said.
In Gizo, a town just 45 kilometres (28 miles) from the quake epicentre, waves caused damage after sweeping beyond the high water mark, he said.
The quake struck at 7:40 am local time (2040 GMT Sunday) and was centred about 350 kilometres (220 miles) west-northwest of the capital Honiara at a depth of 10 kilometres, the US Geological Survey and Hong Kong Observatory said.
The USGS also recorded an aftershock measuring 6.7 about eight minutes after the initial shock.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a tsunami warning after the quake.
"An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines in the region near the epicentre within minutes to hours," the warning centre said.
The warning covers the Solomons, Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Nauru, Chuuk, New Caledonia, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands, with countries as far away as Japan on alert.
The centre warned "authorities should take appropriate action in response to this possibility" of a tsunami.
Australia issued an alert for residents of its northeast coast and authorities in New Caledonia, some 1,000 kilometres south of the Solomons, evacuated people in threatened areas to higher ground.
Geoscience Australia said the tsunami would be between 10 and 20 centimetres (four to eight inches) in its territory, posing little threat to residents of Queensland state.
Bureau of Meteorology spokesman Rob Webb said that while the tsunami sounded small, it had so far only been measured in one place and still had the potential to cause damage in the Pacific.
"It can act very differently in different locations," he said. "It's quite a dangerous situation that we are monitoring very closely -- 8.1 is enough to generate a tsunami across the Pacific."
The Solomon Islands, 2,575 kilometres east of Australia, has fewer than 500,000 people living on dozens of islands