The Solomon Islands, situated in the Pacific Ocean northeast of Australia and southwest of Hawaii, were struck by an earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale today Jan 9. There is not thought to be a threat of a widespread tsunami.
The United States Geological Survey said that the epicentre of the quake was 38 kilometres in depth and about 350 kilometres east of Makira Island, the largest island in the group. The Islands are part of the Pacific 'Ring of Fire' and are frequently subjected to earthquakes.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, which is based in Hawaii said there was "no destructive widespread tsunami threat based on historical data" in a report by the Mail & Guardian.
According to information on the United States Geological Survey website, this is the largest and latest in a group of earthquakes that has hit the region in the last week.
The Solomon Islands first became known to Europeans in 1568 when the Spanish explorer Alvaro de Mendana came across them. However, the islands are believed to have been originally settled between four and five thousand years ago by people travelling from Southeast Asia. The islands were fought over by the Allies and the Japanese in World War 2 with both sides suffering huge losses.
In recent times, the islands have become popular with tourists seeking clear blue sea, coral reefs and gorgeous flora and fauna somewhere way off the beaten track.