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Solomon Islands earthquake: Huge magnitude 6 quake strikes Pacific holiday hotspot

A MAGNITUDE six earthquake has struck off the holiday hotspot of the Solomon Islands, the United States Geological Survey has confirmed.


USGS

Solomon Islands earthquake: A magnitude 6 quake has struck in the Pacific

The earthquake hit around 100 miles (158km) southeast of the Solomon Islands in the Pacific. 

And the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there is no tsunami currently in place. 

The quake struck at around 10.30pm local time (11.50am GMT). 

Despite the large tremor there are no reports of initial damage or injuries. 

The earthquake hit around 100 miles (158km) southeast of the Solomon Islands in the Pacific

USGS

The islands lie in the notorious ring of fire, which is a basin in the Pacific ocean known for fiery volcanic explosions and powerful earthquakes. 

The entire area has 452 volcanoes in total, and makes up more than 75 per cent of the world’s active and dormant volcanic structures. 

Some 90 per cent of global earthquake occur within the ring of fire, and the majority of the most devastatingly powerful quakes lie within the ring. 

The ring of fire is comprised of tectonic plates, which cause tremors when they move and rub together. 

USGS

The earthquake hit 158km southeast of the Solomon Islands in the Pacific

The latest tremor comes as a United Nations contingency plan for nearby Indonesia foresees a scenario where 10,000 people would die within 24 hours with 47 million more affected, according to emergency response planning documents.

The UN-led exercise to prepare for disaster in one of the world's most quake-prone regions, is based on a magnitude 7.8 quake in the Sunda Strait, close to the capital Jakarta, similar in size to one that struck the Caribbean this week.

"Within the first 24 hours, approximately 10,000 deaths with a substantial number of missing people is reported," said the contingency plan based on a worst-case scenario.

A further 60,000 people would be seriously injured and 200,000 lightly injured, while 9.6 million would be temporarily displaced. Although 2.5 million people would need immediate help, fewer than one in 10 would get it.

In 2004 the Indian Ocean tsunami killed 226,000 people in 13 countries, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia. Since then, a culture of disaster prevention has spread around the world, said Denis McClean, spokesman for the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Mr McClean said: "It is buildings which kill in earthquakes.”

The World Bank reckons natural disasters cost Indonesia 0.3 percent of its GDP annually, but a 2015 report on disaster risk management prepared by Indonesia's government said a major earthquake, occuring once every 250 years, could cause losses in excess of $30 billion, or 3 percent of GDP.

In December a 6.5 magnitude quake killed at least three people when it hit Java, Indonesia's most densely populated island, at a depth of 92 km (57 miles), and buildings in Jakarta swayed for several seconds.

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