Massive earthquake hits Solomon Islands

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A major 8.0 magnitude earthquake has jolted the small Pacific nation of the Solomon Islands.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck at a depth of 28.7 kilometres. Dozens of aftershocks followed throughout the day, including one at 6.6-magnitude.

The quake has left 9 people dead and hundreds of homes have been destroyed.

There were concerns that a  tsunami could strike a number of close island neighbours, however, a wave of just under one metre reached parts of Vanuatu and New Caledonia, before a tsunami alert was lifted.

Prime Minister John Key and Foreign Minister Murray McCully have both indicated that the Government was working with Solomon Island authorities to see what support New Zealand could give.

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