Sydney: A tsunami alert has been issued for several South Pacific islands after a strong earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands.
It wasn't yet known if a tsunami was generated. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says it issued a warning based on an evaluation of the earthquake.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the 8.0-magnitude quake struck Wednesday 81 kilometers (50 miles) west of Lata, in the Solomon Islands, at a depth of 5.8 kilometers (3.6 miles.)
Josephine Mae, a police official in the Solomon's capital city of Honiara, said she had not felt any shaking.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says the tsunami warning is in effect for the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Kosrae, Fiji, Kiribati, Wallis and Futuna. A tsunami watch is in effect for American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand and eastern Indonesia.