WORLD

Tsunami warning follows 7.6 quake near Solomons

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HONOLULU (AP) - U.S. officials say there is no threat of a tsunami to the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii or Alaska after a magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck in the Pacific Ocean near the Solomon Islands.

Director Paul Whitmore of the National Tsunami Warning Center in Alaska said powerful waves don't threaten the U.S. West Coast or Canada after the quake hit after noon Pacific time.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii says Hawaii isn't threatened after the earthquake's magnitude was downgraded from initial estimates.

The earthquake's epicenter was 200 miles southeast of Honiara, the Solomons capital, and hit at 7:14 a.m. local time.

Originally estimated at magnitude-8.3, it was downgraded twice.

The downgrade also prompted canceling of a brief tsunami watch for the U.S. island territories of American Samoa and Guam.

Earlier:

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (AP) - A tsunami warning has been issued for some Pacific islands following a powerful magnitude-7.6 earthquake near the Solomon Islands.

The United States Geological Service said the quake struck around 7:14 a.m. local time Sunday. Its epicenter was 323 kilometers (200 miles) southeast of Honiara, the Solomons capital, and its depth was 29.3 kilometers (18.2 miles).

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued a warning for the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea. The center says it's not known if the quake generated a tsunami but it was powerful enough to trigger one.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the temblor.

The Solomon Islands lies on the "Ring of Fire" - an arc of earthquake and volcanic activity that stretches around the Pacific Rim.

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