WELLINGTON, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- A tsunami warning has been issued for the western and central Pacific on Wednesday after a massive magnitude 8 earthquake off Solomon Islands, including a watch for New Zealand, Radio New Zealand reported.
The quake's centre was in the Santa Cruz islands, 340 km east of Kira Kira or about 600 km from the Solomons' capital Honiara. It struck at a depth of 6 km.
Five aftershocks with a magnitude of between 5 and 6.6 have followed so far.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said a tsunami may be destructive near the epicentre and could pose a threat to more distant coastlines. A 90 cm wave has been measured in Lata in Temotu province.
Authorities in Fiji have advised all residents on low-lying coastal areas to evacuate to higher zones as soon as possible.
France has also issued a tsunami warning for the eastern coastline of New Caledonia, a French territory.
The quake's magnitude puts it as a great earthquake or the highest category.
The tsunami warning is in force for Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji and Wallis and Futuna.
A tsunami watch was issued for the rest of the South Pacific nations and islands, including Australia, New Zealand (including the Kermadec islands) and Indonesia. Other nations and islands put on watch are Marshall Islands, Howland and Baker, Pohnpei, Tokelau, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Australia, Niue, Cook Islands, Wake Island, Chuuk, Jarvis Island, Guam, Northern Marianas, Palmyra Island, Yap, Johnston Island, Minamitorishima and Belau.
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