Tsunami-hit Solomons fears more death

2013-02-07 08:00
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

Honiara - Disaster relief agencies were scrambling on Thursday to reach tsunami-hit villages in the Solomon Islands, warning the death toll following a powerful 8.0-magnitude quake is likely to rise.

Officials said six people were confirmed dead after Wednesday's quake generated a wave that swamped coastal communities on the island of Ndende in the eastern Solomons amid fears of a more widespread destructive tsunami.

Aid agency World Vision said some houses in the town of Venga were shifted 10m by the force of the surging water and almost all the homes in Nela village were washed away.

"I'm currently walking through one community and I'm knee-deep in water," World Vision emergency co-ordinator Jeremiah Tabua said. "I can see a number of houses that have been swept away by the surge."

The Solomon Islands Red Cross said the remoteness of the disaster zone, more than 600km from the capital Honiara, was hindering relief efforts, with the island's airstrip closed because of debris on the runway.

Red Cross disaster manager Cameron Vudi said reconnaissance flights would be made over the island on Thursday to assess the scale of the damage but initial reports indicated at least 460 homes had been destroyed.

6 dead, 4 missing

He said the death toll was likely to rise as reports came in from isolated communities.

"We're expecting changes. There are signs that there might be increases in the number of casualties," he said.

"There are still reports coming in. Most of the reports are confined to areas that are accessible by road but there are a lot more communities that have been damaged."

The official death toll stands at six, with another four people missing, but a spokesperson for World Vision Australia, who has been liaising with colleagues in the disaster zone, said it was believed at least eight people died.

National disaster management office spokesperson Sipuru Rove said the Solomons government had asked the Royal Australian Air Force to send a plane to survey damage to the island.

"We're hoping for it to happen some time today, if possible," he said.

Dozens of aftershocks


Rove said an estimated 3 000 people were homeless, with many villagers fleeing the coast for higher ground and taking shelter in makeshift camps in the rugged hills.

Boats carrying medical teams and emergency supplies such as tarpaulins, fresh water, food and clothing were set to depart Honiara for Ndende on Thursday but are not expected to reach the stricken island until the weekend.

The US Geological Survey said the powerful quake struck at 0112 GMT on Wednesday beneath the sea about 76km west of Lata, Ndende's main town, at a depth of 28.7km.

It was followed by dozens of strong aftershocks of up to 7.0 magnitude. The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre put several island nations on alert for two-and-a-half hours before declaring the threat had passed.

In 2007 a tsunami following an 8.0-magnitude earthquake killed at least 52 people in the Solomons and left thousands homeless. The quake lifted an entire island and pushed out its shoreline by dozens of metres.

The Solomons are part of the "Ring of Fire", a zone of tectonic activity around the Pacific that is subject to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

In December 2004, a 9.3-magnitude quake off Indonesia triggered a catastrophic tsunami that killed 226 000 people around the Indian Ocean.

- SAPA
Read more on:    solomon islands  |  tsunamis  |  earthquakes  |  natural disasters
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Dewani Trial
 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the surface...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.