Solomon Islands: Earthquake Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) n° MDRSB006 update n° 1

Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:

This update details progress of the operation from its commencement on 9 December 2016 until 31 March 2017. Due to a lower actual number of non-food item (NFI) distributions and therefore reduced replenishment requirements than anticipated at the time of the DREF request, and further reconciliation of the stock up to early April, this update extends the operation timeframe to 31 May 2017 to allow:

  1. NFI stocks in Honiara and Makira (where there is no SIRC branch presence for the moment) that were not distributed as part of the response to be pre-positioned.

  2. Learning activities, i.e. capturing of field response activities and stories of best practices by the SIRC staff and volunteers and dissemination to public media and RCRC Movement to be finalized.
    Currently, the DREF response is reaching the end of its implementation however, some revisions have been made due to the lessening in the number of affected households following verification of the initial disaster assessment (IDA) data and self-recovery of the affected communities who very quickly began to repair and rebuild their homes. Response activities during the reporting period have made good progress in accessing communities in hard to reach places within a difficult operating environment of under-developed infrastructure and unpredicted weather patterns in addition to the limited logistics capability of the National Society in Makira and Malaita. The detailed reasons for the revisions are explained in this Operations Update under the revised Needs Analysis, revised Strategy and Detailed Operational Plan (progress towards outcomes).

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

At 0439 hours on 9 December 2016 an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 occurred approximately 62km west-southwest of Kirakira in the Makira province of the Solomon Islands. Since then aftershocks have continued to be felt through parts of the Solomon Islands.

Following initial assessments, the National Emergency Operation Centre, in collaboration with the Provincial Emergency Operation Centres of the impacted provinces, narrowed the scope and scale of the disaster to Makira and south Malaita where the most significant impacts were felt. Impacts in the Guadalcanal province were considered minimal.

Immediate action taken by the Solomon Islands government, its stakeholders and partners was to deploy relief items to the impacted communities of Makira and Malaita.

Makira

An official request for national support from the Makira province was made to the National Disaster Operations Committee (N-DOC) and relevant sectors/organisations. N-DOC Committees including those for Health, Education, Livelihood, Protection, Infrastructure (shelter), and Camp Management activated mechanisms and actions in support of these requests, and a National Emergency Response Team (NERT) led by the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and consisting of representatives from government technical agencies, SIRC and other NGOs was deployed by Police patrol boat to the Makira Province and to Auki, the provincial capital of the Malaita province, on 11 December 2016 to support with:

  • needs assessment;

  • distribution of emergency supplies;

  • water purification and distribution; and

  • coordination of relief assistance at the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre.

Following a joint briefing with provincial authorities, the Police patrol boat deployed the NERT to the southern part of the province covering Tetere, Apaoro, Apamatawa, Mwaniworo, Parigina, Aruraha, Marogu and Waigaga. Assessment in the northern part of the province was commenced immediately following a joint briefing by other agencies.

With the support of the NERT, five Provincial Emergency Response Teams (PERT) conducted initial disaster assessments (IDA) in the southern and western parts of the Makira province.

Malaita

On 12 December 2016, the Malaita Provincial Disaster Committee deployed a PERT to Afio together with three NERT members and the SIRC Dissemination Officer to conduct IDAs. From 13 December 2016, the on-site coordination for the Malaita response was done from Afio (a substation of south Malaita).