Japan expects small tsunami after Solomon Islands quake

TOKYO Tue Feb 5, 2013 11:53pm EST

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Meteorological Agency (JMA) said on Wednesday it expects a 20 cm (8 inch) tsunami to reach the country at around 4:30 p.m. (0730 GMT) after a strong earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands earlier in the day.

The small size of the tsunami meant it did not merit a tsunami warning and people were not being asked to leave coastal areas, a JMA spokesman said.

A powerful earthquake measuring 8.0 magnitude struck about 350 km (215 miles) east of Kira Kira in the Solomon Islands earlier in the day, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii issued a tsunami warning but later canceled it.

(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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