The Solomon Islands Meteorological Service (MET) has dispelled rumors of a tsunami threat to the country, particularly Honiara.

Despite photos and videos circulating showing people moving uphill toward the Parliament Building out of concern for their safety, the MET Service clarified that there is no tsunami warning or threat.

MET Director David Hiba Hiriasia explained that the current situation might be attributed to a swell event rather than a tsunami. He confirmed that advisory notices had been issued since the previous weekend regarding swells originating in the Northern Pacific and reaching the equator, including the Solomon Islands. The advisory primarily targets small islands and low-lying atolls, which are more susceptible to the impacts of swells, especially during high tides.

While changes in wave patterns are anticipated in coastal areas around Guadalcanal Province as the swell event progresses, Mr. Hiba emphasized that the country is not under any tsunami threat. Swells are groups of waves generated by distant weather systems, and their long-distance travel can sometimes lead to waves resembling those of a tsunami, even in fine weather conditions.

The current Swell Advisory Number Five, issued by MET, specifically pertains to the low-lying islands of Ontong Java Atolls, Dai, Ramos, Sikaiana, Choiseul, Isabel, Malaita, Makira, and Temotu.

Mr. Hiriasia urged residents along coastal areas to exercise caution, as swells could pose risks during high tides, potentially causing coastal flooding. He advised against allowing vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly, and individuals with special needs to venture out at sea due to the potential for coastal flooding during high swells.

The Solomon Islands Meteorological Service is set to issue the next Swell Advisory at 4:00 pm on the same afternoon, keeping the public informed and ensuring their safety.