April 2 (Bloomberg) -- An earthquake of magnitude 7.6 hit 45 kilometers (25 miles) off the coast of the Solomon Islands, spurring a tsunami warning for Australia, Indonesia and South Pacific island nations.
The quake occurred at 7:39 a.m. Solomon Islands time, close to the coastal settlement of Gizo, in the New Georgia archipelago. Its epicenter was 345 kilometers from the capital, Honiara, the U.S. Geological Survey said in an e-mailed alert.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami alert for the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Nauru, Chuuk, New Caledonia, Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands. There were no immediate reporters of damage or casualties.
A tsunami watch extends to Fiji, Guam, New Zealand, the Philippines, Japan and Samoa, the center said in an e-mailed statement.``An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours,'' the center said in an e-mailed statement. ``Authorities should take appropriate action in response to this possibility