6.8-magnitude quake rocks the Solomon Islands

A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 has struck the Solomon Islands, seismologists say.

The earthquake, which struck at 5:31 a.m. local time on Thursday, was centered about 119 kilometers (74 miles) southwest of Dadali, or 176 kilometers (109 miles) west-northwest of the capital Honiara. It struck about 10.8 kilometers (6.7 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The earthquake was centered in the ocean, but close to several islands where tremors could be widely felt. It was not immediately known whether the early morning earthquake had caused any damage or casualties.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which initially measured the earthquake at 7.0, said there was no threat of a Pacific-wide tsunami. "Based on earthquake information and historic tsunami records the earthquake was not sufficient to generate a tsunami," the center said.

Computer models from the USGS estiamted that some 615,000 residents on nearby islands may have felt Thursday's earthquake, including some 19,000 people who may have felt moderate to strong shaking.

Other details were not immediately available.

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