WELLINGTON, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Potential tsunami threat has been issued for New Zealand on Wednesday after a magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck off the Solomon Islands.
The quake struck about 2.12 p.m. NZ local time on Wednesday near the Santa Cruz Islands, part of the Solomon Islands, at a depth of 33 km, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
New Zealand's Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management has issued the potential threat advisory for North Cape, Auckland West, East Cape, Gisborne, Auckland East, New Plymouth and Wellington.
It said the advisory will remain until it is either upgraded to a full tsunami warning or a cancellation message is issued.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii said sea level readings indicate a tsunami was generated.
"It may have been destructive along coasts near the earthquake epicenter and could also be a threat to more distant coasts," it said. "Authorities should take appropriate action in response to this possibility."
It issued a tsunami warning for the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Kosrae, Kiribati, and Wallis and Futuna.
A tsunami watch was issued for several more distant islands, including New Zealand.