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Two moderate quakes hit Solomon Islands

Two earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.3 and 5.1 struck off the Solomon Islands early Thursday, US geologists said.

SYDNEY: Two earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.3 and 5.1 struck off the Solomon Islands early Thursday, US geologists said.

The first tremor occurred at a depth of 43 kilometres, off the southeast coast of the main Guadalcanal Island at 3:56 am local time (16:56 GMT), the US Geological Survey said.

It was followed around an hour and a half later by a slightly smaller quake, at a depth of 31 kilometres.

The epicentres of both quakes were around 120 kilometres southeast of the Solomons' capital Honiara. The USGS said the risk of damage was low.

The Solomons are part of the "Ring of Fire", a zone of tectonic activity around the Pacific that is subject to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

In 2007, a tsunami following an 8.0-magnitude earthquake killed at least 52 people in the Solomons and left thousands homeless.

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