New Zealand is on tsunami watch after a powerful earthquake in the Solomon Islands.

The magnitude 8.0 quake was 5.8 kilometres deep.

A tsunami warning has been issued for the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Fiji, and Kiribati.

A tsunami watch is in effect for countries including New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Australia, the Cook Islands, and Indonesia.

It's not yet known whether a tsunami has been generated and the warning is based only on the size of the earthquake.

The Ministry of Civil Defence has issued a Tsunami Potential Threat to New Zealand after a strong earthquake off the Solomon Islands.

The tsunami advisory is for North Cape, Auckland west, East Cape, Gisborne, Auckland east, New Plymouth, Wellington.

The ministry says people in coastal areas should note that a tsunami is possible - and listen to the radio or TV for updates.

Newstalk ZB

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