Gizo residents yesterday morning took to the hills after being alerted of a possible tsunami.

The tsunami watch advice which came into force following the earthquake and tsunami which devastated Samoa, American Samoa and parts of Tonga.

SIBC's Radio Happy Lagoon reports residents of Gizo including school children and patients from the hospital were evacuated onto higher ground when word of a possible tsunami spread through town.

It says with memories of the 2007 tsunami still fresh in their minds, Gizo residents responded well to yesterday's advisories.

The ABC's Peter Cave says authorities have confirmed at least 118 people have been killed and many more are still missing.

In American Samoa, the death toll has risen to 27, 7 are said to be killed in Tonga and 84 in Samoa, the worst hit.