Solomon Islands scrambles to reach areas hit by two major quakes

The Solomon Islands plans to dispatch emergency supplies to areas affected by a 6.9 magnitude aftershock on Saturday, a day after a much larger tremor triggered a tsunami warning that send hundreds of coastal people fleeing into the hills. Both quakes triggered tsunami warnings which were lifted a short time later.

“We are working with the National Disaster Office of the Government and we’ve mobilized our emergency response teams to accompany the government officers and other international non-governmental organizations that are going on this boat,” General Secretary of the Solomon Islands Red Cross Joanne Zoleveke said.

Friday’s quake caused significant damage and forced people from homes in the town of Kirakira on Makira Island, about 200 km from the Pacific Island nation’s capital of Honiara.

Australia has provided $37,235 worth of supplies and a helicopter to undertake an initial assessment of affected areas to help target relief efforts.

Suzy Sainovski of World Vision in Honiara said staff from the humanitarian organization in Kirakira saw people fleeing to higher ground. “One of the reasons we need to get them shelter assistance (is) because it’s the start of the wet season here.”

[Yahoo News]

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