Solomon Islands

Australian aid worker on the ground in earthquake affected Solomon Islands

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Save the Children aid worker Georgia Noy from Melbourne has been on the ground in earthquake affected Tetepare Islands in the Solomons since the disaster struck 48 hours ago. Ms Noy is part of a disaster response team conducting a preliminary assessment of the damage caused by the disaster.

"It was a frightening experience when the earthquake struck but it was helpful being on the spot when it happened. We were able to relay information to the local response team and help plan wider assessment activities," said Ms Noy.

Up to 100 homes are reported destroyed or declared unsafe on Rendova and Tetepare Islands following a series of earthquakes in the area over the past 48 hours.

Save the Children today joined an inter-agency team to assess the extent of damage, and stands ready to provide temporary shelter and supplies to families impacted by the earthquakes and resulting tsunami and landslides.

Save the Children has been in constant communications with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) to assist in the planning of a coordinated response.

The initial focus for Save the Children is to help ensure water and shelter are available, and that children are safe and have access to education when school resumes in two weeks.

"We have been working closely with the NDMO to ensure assistance is delivered without delay despite the communication challenges that arise when working in an island nation," Save the Children Country Director Niamh Murnaghan said.

"Once we know the extent of the damage we can begin a swift, appropriate, and comprehensive response."

"We also know from the 2007 tsunami that children can become distressed and risk becoming traumatized."

Save the Children is well equipped to respond to natural disasters, having been involved in the recovery effort for the tsunami that struck Western and Choiseul provinces in 2007. In the past two years, Save the Children has helped restore water supplies and sanitation, rebuild houses and educate children.

For more information, or to arrange an interview call Ian Woolverton + 61 437 355 096