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Sunday, January 24, 2010

APCEDI Update 1: Solomons Earthquake, January 2010

This is an update on the 4th January earthquake from the Solomons Islands Department of Home and Cultural Affairs:

Department of Home and Cultural Affairs

PO Box G11
Solomon Islands
Phone: (677) 27936, Mobile: 95895
Fax: (677)-24293
e-mail : Ref:ndmo04/01/02

Situation Report No.3, Tuesday 5th January 2010

1. Situation

Two earthquakes (6.5 and 7.2) struck near Rendova and Tetepare Islands, some 88km SSE of Gizo, in Western Province on Monday 4th January 2010. Earlier reports that Marovo lagoon lost 500 houses were not correct. The generated tsunami struck the southern and northern side of Rendova. Retavo village in north Rendova got washed away. Baniata village north Rendova reported 1 injury; 16 houses destroyed and 60 houses damaged by waves. 1 house was damaged at Rano, south Rendova. The population of Rendova in the 1999 census was around 3370.

2. Scope and scale

Area of operation is between Lokuru, Baniata, Rano and Retavo on the northern and southern side of Rendova Island, including Tetepare Island. Dwelling houses, livelihoods have been damaged. A full extent of the damages and areas affected are expected tomorrow afternoon when the assessment team is on the ground.
4 houses damaged bungalows reported at Tetepare; the 10 expats on the island have been evacuated to nearby Munda. Some had minor injuries.
8 dwelling houses at Rano village were damaged; 1 man had a broken leg and the water source was damaged by landslides.

3. Response by different partners:

a. Government:
• 200 bags of rice, 100 cartons of water

b. Police
• Dispatched another helicopter flight this morning to the SW side of Rendova which some reports claim was also affected by the waves.
• The four officers – two police and two NDMO staff – who traveled by helicopter yesterday are now at Noro awaiting the Patrol Boat to travel to Rendova and Tetepare.
• Patrol Boat Auki left Honiara last night at 11 o’clock and headed to Noro port where an operation centre has been set up. However, because the extent of damages is limited to Rendova and Tetepare, the forward command base has moved to Munda. The boat is expected to arrive at Noro at 1500 today.


George Baragamu and Brian Tom as well as Silas Arukwai the designated Western Provincial Disaster Officer are members of a multi-sectoral assessment team.

d. Health

Medical patients around Rendova are subjected to Helena Goldie hospital. Helena is the Health centre for areas around Rendova island. A rural health centre at Ughele is not reliable as it runs out of drugs often. Lokuru, Baniata and Hopongo area posts are OK but sometimes experience drug shortages.

e. SIRC:
Donated 200 collapsible water containers and 50 boxes of family kits. It’s also sent a team from Gizo to join the assessment. Its Disaster Coordination officer is among the team that traveled by Patrol boat last night.

f. NGOs:
Save the Children: will send two members to assist with assessments
ADRA: has discussed about what help it could render
Oxfam: contributed 99 tarpaulins which already left on Patrol Boat Auki last night. Its officer Lorima Tuke joined the assessment team on Patrol Boat Auki last night.
World Vision – a Gizo-based team is traveling to join the assessment team at Munda.
Save the Children – two of its officer will assist with assessments.

g. Assets deployed:

Patrol Boat Auki, Jackpot based at Munda; helicopter, Tier 2

h. Proposed Plans:

None until the extent of damages is ascertained.

i. Deployed teams:
14 members comprising of NDMO, Provincial Disaster Committee, Police, SIRC, Oxfam, Save the Children Australia, World Vision, Education and Health

j. Update:

i. Another helicopter flew over Hopongo in the south western end of Rendova following reports the area has also been affected.

ii. Patrol Boat Lata and Auki have reached Noro port at 1500 today. They were to pick up a 14-member assessment team from Noro and take them to Munda where they will spend the night. The team is expected to travel to Rendova by patrol boat, Tier 2 which traveled from Honiara today and now at Munda; banana boat and other canoes tomorrow morning. A police command post originally will move from Noro to Munda.

iii. Reports from the assessment team will be expected later tomorrow, Wednesday 6th January 2010.

iv. The people in the affected areas including other islands in the Province have been issued a second Public Safety Message that they would continue to experience aftershocks for the next two to three days. However, there won’t be another tsunami likely.

v. The Ministry of Education’s Under-Secretary Tim Ngele in a conversation with Barbara Williams of NZAID said there is an existing team of people based in Gizo who are part of a project associated with rebuilding/habilitating schools following the 2007 tsunami. Teams met with the NDMO members from the Police patrol boat Lata in Noro at 4.30 today to initiate an earthquake assessment process. They will be using UNICEF "rapid assessment forms". There is a suggestion that information can be provided in 5 days time. The senior MEHRD person at this meeting will be Dalcy Sito who is the Chief Education Officer of the province. PS Education is currently in the area on holiday and is likely to be involved directly. Tim is acting PS while PS is away. Tim and the Minister met with the Public Service Ministry yesterday and advised this process.


Kevin Vang
APCEDI Coordinator

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