A strong 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific on Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, but no tsunami was expected and there were no immediate reports of damage. The earthquake, with a magnitude 7.0, was centered near the Santa Cruz Island group between the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu at a depth of 10 km (6 miles), the USGS said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which measured the quake at magnitude 6.9, said that based in its available data, no tsunami was expected. The quake originally measuring a 7.0 was later downgraded to a 6.8 by the USGS. The South Pacific nations are still recovering from a devastating cyclone that hit the region in March. EP