Two earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.3 and 5.1 struck off the Solomon Islands early Thursday, US geologists said. The first tremor occurred at a depth of 43 kilometres (27 miles), off the southeast coast of the main Guadalcanal Island at 3:56 am local time (16:56 GMT), the US Geological Survey said.
It was followed around an hour and a half later by a slightly smaller quake, at a depth of 31 kilometres. The epicentres of both quakes were around 120 kilometres southeast of the Solomons´ capital Honiara. The USGS said the risk of damage was low.
The Solomons are part of the “Ring of Fire”, a zone of tectonic activity around the Pacific that is subject to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In 2007, a tsunami following an 8.0-magnitude earthquake killed at least 52 people in the Solomons and left thousands homeless. -thenews