"Earthquake strikes off Soloman Islands"
A strong 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands in the western Pacific, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.
No immediate threat of a destructive tsunami was reported.
The quake struck at a depth of about 30 kilometres with an epicentre 40 kilometres south-west of Kira Kira, on Makira Island, and 224 kilometres south-east of the capital, Honiara, at 4.30 pm (local time), the USGS said.
Like much of the Pacific, the Solomons regularly experience earthquakes, most recently a 6.8 magnitude tremor in April, without a tsuanmi or reports of damage.
A string of tremors rocked the western Solomon Islands in January, with the largest of 7.2 causing a tsunami estimated at nearly 2.5 metres.
About 1,000 people - almost a third of the population - are believed to have been left homeless on Rendova island due to earthquake and tsunami damage.
And as expected, this comes in the midst of a number of noteworthy quakes around the world:
5.1 Ryukyu Islands
5.1 Kermadec Islands
In other news...
"IAF Hits Gaza Terror Targets after Mortar Barrage"
Israel responded late on Thursday night to a series of terrorist mortar shell and rocket attacks from Gaza that took place earlier in the day. IAF planes hit three terror-related targets in the area.
IDF spokespeople confirmed that the operation was a response to Thursday's attacks. “The IDF will not tolerate attempts to harm Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers,” they said.
"The IDF will respond with force and determination to any element using terrorism against the state of Israel. The IDF sees the Hamas terrorist group as bearing sole responsibility for what happens in Gaza,” they continued.
"US Warns Lebanon: Don't Send Flotilla to Gaza"
The United States has warned Lebanon to steer clear of the current effort by various elements to escalate tensions with Israel by attempting to violate its maritime sovereignty over Gaza waters.
...organizers who are planning an “aid flotilla” similar to the one sponsored last month by the terror-linked Turkish organization IHH, were told to send their aid via the approved overland routes.
Lebanese and foreign journalists have said they are planning to be aboard the two vessels, along with the activists and the alleged aid. According to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the two groups behind the operation are Journalists without Borders and the Free Palestine Movement. The ITIC added, however, that the vessels were purchased and the flotilla was organized with backing from Syria and the Lebanese Hizbullah terrorist organization. “Neither of them wants to expose its true identity,” said ITIC.
“Israel reserves its right under international law to use all necessary means to prevent these ships from violating the existing naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip,” wrote Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Gabriela Shalev, in a letter last Friday to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “While those who organize this action claim that they wish to break the blockade on Gaza and to bring humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, the true nature of the actions remains dubious,” Shalev added. “The organizers of these boats have made repeated assertions to the media that they wish to be Shahids [martyrs].”
Also, for anyone interested, are two commentaries worth reading:
"Is Europe Awakening to Islamist Threat?"
"Slicing and Dicing the Israeli Salami"