A tsunami watch and warning in place for Pacific nations has been cancelled after a magnitude-8.0 quake hit nearthe Solomon Islands.
Earlier residents in low-lying coastal areas of Fiji had been advised to evacuate to higher ground afterthe quake triggered a 90cm small tsunami.
The US Geological Survey saidthe quake struck at 1212 AEDT on Wednesday nearthe Santa Cruz Islands inthe Solomons, which have been hit by a series of strong tremors overthe past week, at a depth of 5.8 kilometres. A powerful aftershock of 6.4 magnitude was also recorded.
'Sea level readings indicate a tsunami was generated,'the Hawaii-based Pacific centre said.
'It may have been destructive along coasts nearthe earthquake epicentre and could also be a threat to more distant coasts.'
Locals inthe Solomons capital Honiara, 580 kilometres fromthe epicentre, saidthe quake was not feltthere, but some villages were destroyed, according to a hospital director.
'The information we are getting is that some villages west and south of Lata alongthe coast have been destroyed, although we cannot confirm this yet,'the director at Lata Hospital onthe main Santa Cruz island of Ndende, told AFP.
A staff member atthe Solomons National Disaster Management Office said officials were concerned aboutthe eastern province of Temotu.
'That'’s the province, which if it is going to have an effect,thenthey will bethe first people to be impacted,'the official, who did not wish to be named, told AFP.
'They feltthe quake.'
He said first reports fromthe area were thatthere was a tsunami wave, but he had no futher information.
He added thatthe national disaster operation centre had been activated andthey were trying to contact those in Temotu province.
The tsunami warning was in effect for the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Kosrae, Fiji, Kiribati, and Wallis and Futuna.