Power has been cut off for most of Honiara as preliminary assessments of damages to power lines are made.

Several lines were damaged as the ground shook violently for about 30 seconds today afternoon.

“We will make a quick assessment of damage, and also its for safety reasons given the aftershock that is expected to continue,” said a Solomon Power staff spoken too.

“Services should resume soon, or as soon as it is safe to do so with lines fixed.”

The earthquake measured 7.3 on the richter scale. The quake struck near Malango and was shallow, with a depth of 10km, the USGS said.

Honiara residents going about their daily activities at the CBD area fled to higher ground shortly after the shaking stopped. There are no reports of casualties, although there are widespread reports of damage to commercial buildings and private properties.