On the morning of 4 January 2010, two earthquakes-magnitude 6.5 and 7.2, with epicentres West South West of the island of Honiara-struck the Solomon Islands within an hour of each other. The earthquakes generated a tsunami that hit the southern and northern coast of the islands of Rendova and Tetepare. The large wave and landslides damaged houses and boats on both islands.
One day later (5 January), an aftershock measured at magnitude 6.9 struck, damaging houses around the Marovo lagoon.
Around 4 887 people were living in affected areas. Landslides have occurred and have afftected the water supplies in the areas of Sombu, Hopongo, Havila, Mbaniata, Retavo, Rano, Hosuzo, Vanikua, and Bangopiqo.
Identified immediate needs include:
- Clean food
- Safe water
- Hazard analysis
- Provision of health services to affected people
- Diarrhoea cases noted in Hopongo, Havila, and Mbaniata
- Red eye cases noted in Rano, Mbaniata, Retavo, Ella Beach, Hosuzo, Vanikua, and Bangopipo
- Cases of trauma, cough, colds and other flu-like symptoms were noted in all affected villages.
- No specific numbers are currently available.
No deaths or serious injuries have been reported as of 11 January 2010.
The Solomon Islands Government has sent relief goods and assessment teams and is preparing a recovery action plan to be ready by 12 January. The Government continues to coordinate with nongovernmental and international partners for possible aid.
International partners have provided non-food items, water, sanitation, and hygiene items and assessment support. Concerned governments have also sent financial aid.
WHO continues to coordinate with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services in the Solomon Islands for the provision of additional aid and services that may be needed and has presently deployed a surveillance tool for early identification and management of impending health crises. WHO staff members are also participating in the assessment of daily situation and the prophylactic measures that have been put in place. Health promotion materials and hygiene items have been distributed.
National Disaster Council Situation Report No. 5, 8 January 2010
For further information please contact:
WHO Solomon Islands
Dr William Adu-Krow
Country Liaison Officer
Tel : (677) 23406
Fax: (677) 21344
WHO Regional Office
Dr Arturo Pesigan
Tel: (632) 528 9810
Fax: (632) 528 9072