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Australian coast lucky to escape tsunami deluge

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Lucky escape ... a tsunami resulting from the earthquake in the Solomons left a virtually uninterrupted path through to Australia.

Since 1900, the Solomons has borne the brunt of 36 earthquakes registering 7.0 or more on the Richter scale, but none had reached 8.0 until yesterday. "This is a one-in-100-year earthquake for this area. The motion of one plate pushing under the other is extremely conducive to changes on the sea floor that can cause a tsunami. The trench along where this rubbing of the plates occurs is very steep, creating the possibility of a huge undersea landslide. If that happens, that's when tsunamis can be huge." A big tsunami could easily have headed Australia's way from that location. "We knew yesterday morning the earthquake was big enough, but we weren't sure for some hours if a tsunami heading toward Australia was going to result...But if you want to have an earthquake that generated a tsunami that could impinge on Australia, this is one of the prime locations."
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