An estimated 4,000 people are impacted by 7.8 magnitude quake; no deaths reported

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 12, 2016) – A patrol boat will be dispatched today with emergency food supplies to the earthquake stricken province of Makira-Ulawa to assist communities there.


That’s according to the Director of the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) Loti Yates.

Makira-Ulawa Province, as well as parts of Malaita, Guadalcanal and Malaita, were badly hit by the powerful 7.8 earthquake that struck in the early hours of Friday.

Yates said provincial assessment teams were already in affected areas to assess the level of damage and what needs to be done.

He added an assessment team from the NDMO office will be dispatched tomorrow to affected areas as well.

[PIR editor’s note: On Dec. 10, 2016 Solomon Star reported that ‘Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says her government is ready to provide any support once requested in relation to Friday’s 7.8 earthquake that stuck off Kirakira, Makira-Ulawa Province. … “The Australian Government has in place pre-positioned supplies for shelter, water, sanitation, food,” Ms Bishop said. … “If they’re required we can work with the local authorities and with the government of Solomon Islands to provide that,” she told Radio Australia.’]

An update report from the National Disaster Council said about 4052 people and 118 houses were affected and at least two people were injured by strong earthquake.

[PIR edtior’s note: On Dec. 12, 2016 Radio Australia reported that ‘World Vision in Solomon Islands says disaster preparedness was key in saving lives after the country was rattled by two powerful earthquakes.’]

The report said in Makira, there are more than 24 communities re-reporting impacts – the impacts are from both hazards (Earthquake and Tsunami).

It stated that there are a total of 116 dwellings that are either destroyed, washed away or damaged by the earthquake and tsunami and around 1,977 people are said to be affected.

This case load is anticipated to increase when information are available.

It was also noted that communication difficulties is the main challenge in the weather coast of Makira.

For Malaita, the most affected region is the South region.

There are around 10 villages with an affected population of 1,732 reported and around 69 houses either destroyed or damaged.

For Temotu, no reports of impacts received; however, people took precautionary measures during the event.

For Guadalcanal, there are anticipated impacts in the eastern region, however, there are no reports received due to communication challenges.

It is said that telecommunication facilities are unserviceable.

From the analysis, the most critical areas are Makira, South Malaita and East Guadalcanal.

Weather coast of Makira and South Malaita are anticipated to be the worst affected areas. [/restrict]