Solomon Islands Tsunami 2013
On February 6, 2013, an 8.0-magnitude undersea earthquake struck the Solomon Islands and generated a destructive tsunami that hit Santa Cruz Island, Malo Island and Lord Howe (Nibvanga Noi) Island. These islands are part of an isolated chain in Temotu Province in the country’s south-east.
About 1000 households across 25 communities in West Santa Cruz Island were affected, many of them losing everything, and there were 11 deaths, mostly children and the elderly.
Most of the people affected areas are Anglican, and civil society in the area is largely organised through the church. It is a very remote part of the country, taking five days via cargo ship from Honiara.
Anglican Overseas Aid provided assistance in three areas to a value of $A7400, funded by donations from the Australian public.
As part of the initial response, we contributed funds to help provide emergency supplies such as clothes, food and cooking pots that were sent by ship to affected areas.
We also contributed to the provision of emergency solar lighting, with 100 lights distributed by the Diocese of Temotu.
As part of the longer-term recovery, we have partnered with Solomon Island International Red Cross to distribute solar lights to 500 affected families, along with providing support and training in the use and maintenance of the lights.
In more detail
Solomon Islands International Red Cross has been attending to the housing needs of people affected by the tsunami, but as part of their initial assessments, women also made it clear that they needed sources of light.
The women said they were walking extra distances to collect water and food, as water sources and gardens had been damaged. Red Cross approached AusAID who agreed to fund solar lanterns to be distributed as part of the overall response.
Anglican Overseas Aid had the lights in stock, and paid for the cost of shipping them to the area. We also paid for the Solar Coordinator from our partner, the Anglican Church of Melanesia, to travel with the Red Cross to Temotu to train staff and volunteers on correct use of the lights along with providing tools and spare parts.
Red Cross staff and volunteers will ensure that all those who receive the lights will receive proper instruction on taking care of the lights, and a Red Cross staff member will provide ongoing maintenance support.
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