A magnitude 8.0 earthquake was reported in the South Pacific off the Solomon Islands Wednesday.
Within minutes, NOAA's National Data Buoy Center had 6 buoys picking up a "tsunami event."
The quake generated a tsunami of up to 1.5 metres, which damaged as many as 80 homes and properties.
Many villagers had gone to higher ground, but local police say several people are presumed dead. Disaster teams are struggling to reach four villages that were hit by a tsunami.
Widespread tsunami watches and warnings were posted, but were later dropped as the threat eased.
Five aftershocks were recorded in the hour following, ranging in strength from magnitude 5.6 to 6.4.
The Solomons consist of more than 200 islands with a population of about 552,000 people. According to officials they lie on the "Ring of Fire", an arc where about 90 percent of the world's quakes occur.
With files from The Canadian Press