17 Oct 2013

Magnitude 7.1 earthquake strikes Pacific near Bougainville

6:52 am on 17 October 2013

A magnitude 7.1 earthquake has struck in the Pacific Ocean near Bougainville and the Solomon Islands last night, but no widespread tsunami warning was issued.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre says the quake struck at a depth of 33 kilometres and was 65 kilometres west of Panguna in Papua New Guinea's Bougainville province and 642 kilometers west of Honiara in the Solomon Islands.

Geoscience Australia seismologist David Jepsen told AFP the whole island of Bougainville would have been shaking quite strongly.

He says there is always the chance of a localised tsunami, as the quake occurred along a plate boundary and was relatively shallow.

In February the remote town of Lata in Solomon Islands was hit by a tsunami after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake.

The tsunami left at least 10 people dead, destroyed hundreds of homes and left thousands of people homeless.