Update April 13, 07:50 UTC: At least 3 tsunami waves have hit the coasts of Makira Island. The highest tides measured 1 – 3 meters in different parts of the island. A wave of two meters heigh is confirmed in the eastern part of Makira. Only minor damage caused by the tsunami is reported so far.
A little wave of about 3 cm heigh was also confirmed on Lata Islands, which suffered severe damage by a tsunami last year.
The quake itself damaged many houses, esspecially in Kirakira, the biggest town on Makira.
Update 20:54 UTC: NOAA statement:
A TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR
SOLOMON ISLANDS / VANUATU / PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Update 20:52 UTC: The earthquake has been downgraded to 7.6 by the USGS.
Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 8.3
Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2014-04-13 07:14:37
Tinakula is a conical stratovolcano which forms an island north of Nendo in Temotu Province, the Solomon Islands. It lies at the north end of the Santa Cruz Islands. It is about 3.5 km wide and rises 851 m above sea level, but rises three or four km above the sea floor. It erupts approximately every hour in a plume of ash and rocks. The volcano was first recorded in eruption in 1595 when Álvaro de Mendaña sailed past on his round the world voyage.
Image courtesy NASA Earth observatory
This natural-color satellite image (top) shows a plume of volcanic gas, possibly mixed with a little ash, rising above the island’s summit. On February 13th and 14th, 2012, NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) detected heat signatures on Tinakula, and a small plume was apparent in visible imagery (lower image). Over the past decade satellites have detected intermittent “thermal anomalies” that suggest eruptions have taken place, but eyewitness observations are infrequent. The images was collected by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite (top) and MODIS on the Terra satellite on February 14, 2012.
Google earth profile image
The island is uninhabited. A previous population was eradicated when the volcano erupted around 1840 and pyroclastic flows swept all sides of the island.
In 1951, polynesians from Nukapu and Nupani settled on the island, which reached a peak population of 130, before it had to be evacuated again during the 1971 eruption. The village of Temateneniwas on the southeast coast. In the late 1980s, two families (less than 10 people) from Nupani made another attempt at settlement.
Transport can be arranged, but landing on the island is very difficult since there are few good beaches. One must bring plenty of water and be prepared to swim ashore. The island is covered with jungle, except for the western side, which is covered with ash. It was scraped by landslides in 1965. When the volcano erupts, it is possible to watch large boulders tumbling down the mountain side.
The island is in the range of the endangered Santa Cruz Ground Dove (Gallicolumba sanctaecrucis), but as ornithologists have not visited the island in a long period, it is unknown whether they survive there. Doctor Gunter Kittel, an Austrian doctor, who came and worked for Lata Hospital climbed Tinakula four times in 2002.