Disaster authorities now reaching more isolated parts of Guadalcanal, Malaita, Makira-Ulawa

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 14, 2016) – An 11-year old girl is the first confirmed fatality from the massive earthquakes which hit Solomon Islands last week.

Disaster authorities are only now reaching isolated parts of the affected provinces of Guadalcanal, Malaita and Makira and Ulawa.


The girl died when a building collapsed on top of her on Guadalcanal after the 7.8 magnitude quake which struck on Friday.

An aftershock measuring 6.9 struck the next day.

National Disaster Management Office director Loti Yates said authorities were working with donor partners and international NGOs on the initial emergency response.

He said a decision on whether to request outside help would be made after a more detailed evaluation.

Mr Yates said his biggest concern was the onset of the rainy season, which he said would pose additional risks.

“That is actually the biggest worry that we have – the more water that is absorbed into the ground that is already loose from the shocks, it will generate landslides.

“It is not only that a lot of our people have already lost their homes,” said Mr Yates.

“We cannot allow them to live in tarpaulins for a long time. Tarpaulins are supposed to be just temporary.” Radio New Zealand International [/restrict]