At least five people have been killed after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake off the Solomon Islands generated a tsunami.
Registered nurse Chris Rogers, of Lata Hospital in the Santa Cruz Islands, told AFP: 'We can report five dead and three injured. One of the dead was a male child, three were elderly women and one an elderly man.'
Spokesman for the prime minister George Herming said officials reported two waves hitting the western side of Santa Cruz Island, damaging about 50 homes and properties.
Mr Herming added that many villagers headed to higher ground as a precaution.
Hospital officials have said they are expecting more casualties, the Daily Mail reports.
When the earthquake struck, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii, noticing that waves had been generated, put out a widespread alert throughout the South Pacific, warning that the Solomons, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and Samoa could be hit by a tsunami.
This resulted in thousands of residents and tourists leaving their homes, hotels and places of work for higher ground in case a large wave swept in.
Mr Herming said that in the Solomons capital Honiara, people stood on hilltops 'trying to observe if there is a wave coming in'.
In 2007, a tsunami killed at least 52 people in the Solomon Islands and left thousands of people homeless.
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