06/02/2013 03:57 GMT | Updated 06/02/2013 06:54 GMT

Earthquake And Tsunami In South Pacific Shakes Solomon Islands

At least four people are dead after an major earthquake in the South Pacific ocean shook the Solomon Islands, triggering a small tsunami.

Dozens of homes have been destroyed after the magnitude 8.0 quake saw a 3ft wave strike Lata in Nendo, one of the far eastern Solomons in the Santa Cruz island chain.

south pacific

A map of where the Earthquake struck

“We can report five dead and three injured. One of the dead was a male child, three were elderly women and one an elderly man,” Chris Rogers, a nurse at Lata Hospital told AFP.

However the press secretary to the Solomons prime minister told the BBC that four people had been reported dead.

Four villages along the coastline were affected as waves travelled 500m inland. According to Reuters the water reached the airport terminal. Higher fatalities were avoided as many residents sought out higher ground as soon as they felt the quake.

This was followed by a series of aftershocks, one as high as 6.0 in magnitude.

Nations close by were on high alert after The Pacific Tsunami Center issued warnings, with sirens heard as far away as Fiji, prompting traffic chaos and mayhem in the streets as residents sought out higher ground. These warnings were later cancelled.

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Destruction caused by the 2007 earthquake

The Solomon Islands are located in the Ring of Fire, a series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and plate movements that circles the Pacific basin.

In 2007, a tsunami killed 52 people in the Solomon Islands after a 8.1 magnitude earthquake caused widespread destruction.

As part of their Diamond Jubilee tour, Prince William and Kate visited the Solomon Islands in September last year.

the duchess in the solomon islands

The Duchess in the Solomon Islands