Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands: NDMO Sitrep no. 20 - 21 Apr 2007

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SITUATION

1. An earthquake measuring 8.1 struck 345km northwest of the Solomon Islands' capital Honiara at 0740 local time on 2 April 2007. (2040 GMT 1 April). The earthquake created a tsunami causing significant damage in the Solomon Islands.

2. The NDC reports that the affected area includes Gizo, Simbo, Ranogga, Shortlands, Munda, Noro, Vella la Vella, Kolombangarra and parts of the southern coast of Choiseul. Aerial surveillance shows that the worst-affected areas are the southern coast of Gizo, Simbo Island and the central southern coast of Choiseul between Moli and Posarae and Sasamungga.

3. 52 people have been confirmed dead in the April 2nd tsunami.

NATIONAL RESPONSE

4. A debriefing for all Permanent Secretaries will be held at the Prime Minister's Office at 2pm Sunday 22nd April.

5. The National Council will meet at 11:00am on Sunday 22nd April.

6. An NDMO officer is continuing to operate the airport reception centre to receive, register and guide incoming relief teams.

7. Action Desks in the NDC head office are still working.

IN-COUNTRY ASSISTANCE

8. The Solomon Islands Red Cross has reported that the MV Swift has departed Honiara aned was due to arrive in Gizo on the 19th April. Red Cross says its consignment onboard includes 122 tents (6 person),186 Mosquito Domes,120 Bush knives,40 x 5 litre plastic water containers and 2 large boxes of cutlery.

9. Distributions of non food item are in full swing. A family 'package' consisting of Tarpaulin, hygiene kit, cooking set, clothes, hurricane lamp, bush knife, family tent if real need.

10. Red Cross is presently working on Kolombangara, and has reassessed villages and distributed to the following (number in brackets refers to numbers of family 'packages' distributed):18th April: Vavanga (7), Ghatene (9), Pine (1), Hunda (14), Ireke (11), Sarahombe/Korene (16) Total for day: 58

11. 19th April: Kuzi (71), Kuza (25), Lodugovorama (4),Niu Burvi (3), Vovohe (12), Ilitona (8), Garama (2), Daibanga (3), Vlafu (4), Shadow River (5), New Barekel (1), Hapi (1) Total for day: 13

12. The Development Service Exchange, DSE, the umbrella NGO body in the country will establish a welfare desk at the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) to look at issues relating to people traumatized during the tsunami. As part of the recovery phase of the tsunami, the Ministry of Women, Youth and Children's Affairs will be heading this desk supported by an interagency working group that consists of NGOs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development and other development partners who have interest and expertise in the area. The role of the working group is to support the action desk in coordination, information sharing and technical advice.

13. World Vision (SI) has 118 cartons of long grain rice, 150 cartons of Dove soap, 3 drums of kerosene, 12 cartons of 10 litre, 6 bales of blankets (500 units) and 36 containers of 17 litre empty containers (1,800 packed into 12 cartons). These are ready for shipment to Gizo on any available transport.

14. Four Rhema Family Church members will travel to Gizo this weekend bringing 12 baskets of clothing, 4 cartongs of hurricane lamps, 5 canvas tents, 1 carton of kitchen knives, 10 bush knives, 10 saws, 10 hammers, 40 plates, 20 spoons, 20kg nails, 40 mugs(cups), 1 case of mixed goods and 10 water containers (5kg).

REGIONAL ASSISTANCE

15. Government Communications Unit officer based in Gizo, George Siapu says the trail of destruction in the wake of the massive earthquake and tsunami which struck Western and Choiseul provinces early this month has been very obvious and wide spread in the communities on Vella Lavella. Vella La Vella Agriculture Extension Officer Michael Teirara reported that around 50 permanent and about 30 local houses were either damaged or destroyed. He said that re-building these homes would be very significant and those affected would certainly have a hard and difficult task ahead. Michael Teirara had carried out an independent assessment survey in the worst affected areas on Vella La Vella soon after the disaster. Mr. Teirara said that apart from private homes, the primary and secondary schools on the island have also been directly affected. The damages that he had reported included destruction of classrooms, staff houses and in some communities, the tidal waves had washed away school textbooks and other school stationeries. Teirara revealed that some schools not damaged have been used as temporary accommodation for the displaced people thus stretching resources available and preventing the schools from resuming classes.

16. Apart from school buildings and homes, other economic infrastructures such as the Vonunu and Liapari wharves, and Liapari Bridge have been partly damaged. "The Liapari Bridge links Liapari Island and the Vella La Vella mainland and it had also sustained major damage during the earthquake." Mr. Teirara had found out that Barokoma airstrip sustained no damages but it only needs maintenance. "The possibility of using it during this time of emergency should be considered as an alternative access to Vella Lavella", Teirara suggested.

IN-COUNTRY INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE

17. Habitat for Humanity will be conducting a field assessment in the Solomon Islands between the 23rd and 27th April to:

- Determine whether and how Habitat could provide significant value to current efforts on the ground to respond to shelter needs, and

- Determine if there is a real need for Habitat to respond, determine potential partner/s that would best fit with Habitat's current realities and strategic objectives.

18. The assessment trip shall include visits to key affected areas, meetings with key NGOs and potential partners. This trip is not intended to duplicate the current assessments already done by the government, NGOs and other DR agencies. Instead, the information gathered from this trip will provide important information in the assessment of whether or not Habitat could play a significant role with regard to more permanent housing solutions.The team will consist of Tevita Ravumaidama, Regional Program Advisor for HFH in the Pacific and James Samuel, who works with DR and HRCs in India.

19. Suva-based OCHA officer Adriana Cavalho-Friedheim has left the country today but her colleague Charles

NEXT NDMO SITUATION REPORT: Monday 23rd April 2007

Agencies and stakeholders should send their updates to: ndc@solomon.com.sb and programsndc@solomon.com.sb