HONIARA, Solomon Islands (CBS) -- The capital of the Solomon Islands, Honiara, escaped the effects of the powerful 8.0 magnitude earthquake on Wednesday which set off a tsunami that killed at least five people in a remote part of the Solomon Islands.
The quake triggered evacuations across the South Pacific as island nations issued tsunami alerts.
It struck 211 miles east of Kira Kira in the Solomons, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said as it issued warnings for the Solomons and other South Pacific nations including Australia and New Zealand. It later cancelled the warnings for the outlying regions.
A tsunami measuring 3 feet hit near the town of Lata on the remote Santa Cruz Island, swamping some villages and the town's main airport as people fled to safety on higher ground.
More than three dozen aftershocks up to magnitude 6.6 rocked the region in the hours after the quake, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Disaster officials in Honiara told the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corp that they believed six people were dead and that five villages had suffered damage.