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Warnings issued after earthquake

Warnings have been issued to British holidaymakers and expats living in Fiji and Papua New Guinea where a tsunami alert is in place following a major earthquake in the South Pacific.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised all visitors and residents on low-lying coastal areas of the islands to evacuate to higher grounds as soon as possible.

The tsunami alert was issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre after a strong earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale struck near the Solomon Islands.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We are aware of the events and keeping in close touch with our posts in the regions.

"We are on standby to offer any assistance that's required."

Under its advice for Papua New Guinea it said: "Areas which are most likely to be affected are low lying and coastal areas in the New Guinea Islands, Lae, Port Moresby, Madang and Wewak. We advise British nationals to monitor media and local authority announcements for further information."

There are no travel restrictions in place for either region.

The centre issued the warning for Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Kosrae, Fiji, Kiribati, Wallis and Futuna.

A tsunami watch is in effect for American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand and eastern Indonesia.

The US Geological Survey says the earthquake struck 50 miles west of Lata, in the Solomon Islands, at a depth of 3.6 miles.


From Belfast Telegraph