The USGS initially reported the quake as 8.0, but later downgraded it to 7.7.
“Hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are possible within the next three hours along some coasts of Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, New Caledonia, Tuvalu and Kosrae,” stated the warning issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
A tsunami watch has been also issued for all Hawaiian islands, the US National Weather Service reported.
The center called on the government agencies responsible for dealing with emergency situations to “take action to inform and instruct any coastal populations at risk in accordance with their own evaluation.”
The epicentre of the quake was registered at a depth of 48.7km, according to USGS.
The Ring of Fire – which is more a 40,000-kilometer (25,000-mile) horseshoe than an actual ring – stretches from the southern tip of South America, up along the coast of North America, across the Bering Strait, down to Japan and into New Zealand.