Solomon Islands

Emergency relief in response to the cyclone disaster in the Solomon Islands

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Secretariat of the Japan Disaster Relief Team

The following is a report on the provision of emergency relief supplies to the Solomon Islands.

1. Emergency Situation

On December 28 and 29, 2002, the cyclone "Zoe" that broke out on the eastern district of the Solomon Islands directly hit Tikopia and Anuta islands in the Temotu District, located at about 1,000 km southeast of the capital Honiara (Guadalcanal Island). The cyclone was large with a recorded wind speed of 130 knots per second (65 m per second) and on both islands tide waves caused settlements to be buried in sand and buildings had collapsed.

After the cyclone passed through the area, the means of communication between the capital Honiara and Tikopia Island were severed, and it had become absolutely impossible to gain understanding of the disaster conditions.

On January 5, patrol boats of the Government of the Solomon Islands, which were dispatched from Honiara, arrived at Tikopia Island, and the assessment team confirmed the disaster conditions. According to the assessment team's announcement, about 1,500 residents on Tikopia Island had evacuated to a shelter in a cave on a hill, so no residents were killed or injured. However, many buildings were destroyed due to erosion by high tides and sand, and food was also lost. In addition, since there is no principal industry on the island, there is concern that a good amount of time will be required to restore it to its original state.

The disaster conditions are as follows according to news reports up to January 6th.

Affected: 3,000-4,000

Dead: None

Injured: Unknown

2. Response of Japan

Japan has decided to provide emergency relief supplies as follows through JICA.

(1) Relief Goods Supplied (from the JICA Singapore storage depository)

Carpenter's kits: 100

Shovels: 80

Soaps: 1,000

Towels: 600

Medium-short-wave radios: 30

Blankets: 500

6-men tents: 15

Plastic sheet: 5 rolls

(2) Estimated Value of Relief Supplies: 6,468,850 yen

(3) Transport Schedule

Coordination is under way for transport by flight via the shortest route from the Singapore storage depository to Honiara.

3. Response of the Government of the Solomon Islands

(1) As of January 6th, the Government of the Solomon Islands dispatched patrol boats for support. Incidentally, donors have born the arrangement of relief supplies, fuel for the patrol boats and supply boats (second group).

(2) On January 4th, the National Disaster Committee requested that the charge d'affaires on Solomon Islands provide disaster relief.

4. Response of Other Aid Agencies

As of January 6th, other countries and international agencies have announced their aid as follows.

(1) Australia: To contribute an amount equivalent to about US$ 63,000 to bear fuel for the patrol boats (first group) as well as charter fees and fuel for the third supply boats (scheduled to sail next week).

Moreover, to confirm the disaster site by Australian air-force planes and dispatch aid-related staff (AusAID) and nurses.

(2) New Zealand: To contribute an amount equivalent to about US$ 27,000 to bear charter fees and fuel for the second supply boats.

(3) Germany: To dispatch an assessment team.

(4) U.S. consular agent: To provide one electric generator.

(5) CRPF (Australian NGO): To provide relief supplies worth about US$ 4,000.

(6) Red Cross: To provide one fuel drum worth about US$ 4,000, 1,740 blankets and one electric generator.

(7) OXFAM: To provide clothing worth US$ 8,000.

(8) APRA: To provide plastic canteens worth US$ 6,000.

(9) World Vision: To provide plastic canteens worth US$ 9,600, medical supplies, etc.