An 8.0 magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific at 8:12 pm Eastern time, the National Weather Service reported, sparking a tsunami warning for the entire region.
According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, "sea level readings indicate a tsunami was generated. It may have been destructive along coast near the earthquke epicenter and could also be a threat to more distant coasts."
A tsunami warning was issued for areas as far away as New Zealand and Australia. "Authorities should take appropriate action in response to this possibility" the official warning continued. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center will continue to monitor sea level data to determine the extent and severity of the threat.
Pacific tsunamis have been a real concern, since the massive earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck Japan in March, 2011. In that disaster, nearly 16,000 people were killed and entire cities in Northern Japan were destroyed.
The National Weather Service will issue updates hourly on this developing situation or earlier as events may warrant.
In this initial warning, Hawaii, Alaska or the U.S. Pacific coast were not included and do not appear to be under immediate threat.