SYDNEY (February 6, 2013)--Disaster teams were struggling to reach four villages in the Solomon Islands that were hit by a tsunami Wednesday after a powerful earthquake generated waves as high as 5 feet, damaging dozens of homes in the South Pacific island chain.
The prime minister's office said many villagers headed to higher ground as a precaution after the 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck Santa Cruz Island, but police say several people are believed to have been killed.
News reports set the death toll at about five.
The earthquake struck 211 miles east of Kira Kira in the Solomons.
More than three-dozen aftershocks with magnitudes as high as 6.6 rocked the region in the hours after the quake, the U.S. Geological Survey said.