An 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Santa Cruz Islands east of the Solomon Islands just after noon local time today. Officials from the Solomon Islands report at least five dead and villages destroyed. Local tsunamis waves reached as high as three feet.

More than 60 aftershocks of magnitudes ranging from 4.8 to 6.6 continued to rattle the region for hours after the initial shallow thrust faulting at 12:12 p.m. local time (01:12 GMT).

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"Houses have been washed down, and the airport has been filled with seawater," Charles Elliott Fox-Ngali, also a registered nurse at Lata Hospital in Temotu Province, told the Wall Street Journal.

Loti Yates, director of the national disaster management office, confirmed that four villages had been destroyed and logs and debris were strewn across the airport runway.