Solomon Islands tsunami toll rises

2013-02-07 12:00
The destroyed Venga village following a tsunami in Temotu province, Solomon Islands. (World Vision/ AP)

The destroyed Venga village following a tsunami in Temotu province, Solomon Islands. (World Vision/ AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Aid workers struggled to reach remote, tsunami-ravaged villages in the Solomon Islands on Thursday, as the death toll rose with more bodies found in wrecked homes and debris in the South Pacific island chain.

At least nine people, including a child, were killed when a powerful earthquake set off a small tsunami that sent 1.5m waves roaring inland on Santa Cruz Island, in the eastern Solomons, on Wednesday.

Around 100 homes across five villages were damaged or destroyed.

The waves proved deadly for five elderly villagers and a child, who weren't fast enough to outrun the rushing water, said George Herming, a spokesperson for the prime minister.

Three more bodies were found on Thursday, but Herming said details of how those victims died were not immediately available.

Several others are missing and dozens of strong aftershocks were keeping frightened villagers from returning to the coast, Herming said.

"People are still scared of going back to their homes because there's nothing left, so they are residing in temporary shelters on higher ground," Herming said.

The tsunami was generated by an 8.0-magnitude earthquake that struck near the town of Lata, on Santa Cruz in Temotu, the easternmost province in the Solomons.

Disaster officials were en route to the isolated area on Thursday after the local airport, which was flooded by the tsunami, was finally cleared of debris.

The Solomons comprise more than 200 islands with a population of about 552 000 people. They lie on the "Ring of Fire" -an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones that stretch around the Pacific Rim and where about 90% of the world's quakes occur.

More than 50 people were killed and thousands lost their homes in April 2007 when a magnitude-8.1 quake hit the western Solomon Islands, sending waves crashing into coastal villages.

Read more on:    solomon islands  |  tsunami  |  earthquakes  |  natural disasters

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Meet instagram star, Pumpkin the racoon

With 300 000 followers and growing Pumpkin is winning over the internet!



The cats that cost R35 000
Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy
13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

In order to really connect to your feelings, you need to quieten your mind. Let go of expectations and connect to the moment more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.