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Magnitude 7.7 earthquake strikes South Pacific; US tsunami watches canceled

Posted: 1:10 PM, Dec 08, 2016
Updated: 2016-12-08 21:36:44Z

A 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit near the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean which prompted a tsunami watch on the Hawaiian islands Thursday morning. The Solomon Islands are 3,635 miles southwest of Hawaii.

The National Weather Service dropped the tsunami watch later Thursday morning. 

The service warned that a destructive tsunami is possible far away from the earthquake's epicenter. Despite the tsunami watch being dropped, the National Weather Service said a sea-level change is possible along the US west coast. 

The Solomon Islands have a total population of 561,231. There was no immediate word on local damage.