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SYDNEY -- A tsunami alert was issued Wednesday for several South Pacific island nations after a strong earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands.

USGSreal-time quake map

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said sea level readings indicated a tsunami was generated that may be destructive near the epicenter.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 8.0-magnitude quake struck Wednesday 81 kilometers (50 miles) west of Lata, in the Solomon Islands, at a depth of 5.8 kilometers (3.6 miles.)

There were no immediate reports of damage. Josephine Mae, a police official in the Solomon s capital city of Honiara, said she had not felt any shaking and said police had received no reports of a tsunami being witnessed there.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the tsunami warning is in effect for the 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.

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