Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands: NDMO Sitrep no. 21 - 23 Apr 2007

Situation Report
Originally published

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.


4. A combined church service was held at the Wesley United Church in Honiara early this morning to honour the 52 lives lost in the April 2nd Tsunami. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare praised the many people who were said to have died in the course of saving their loved ones and says his government would ensure their names will go down in the Solomon Islands history as heroes. Mr Sogavare also thanked donors, private businesses, communities, NGOs and individuals who have rendered their quick support for the more than 7000 people affected by the disasters. He has also thanked the Premiers of Western and Choiseul Provinces and village leaders for "using common sense" to mobilize their community members do things immediately after the disasters struck, before outside help could get through, Public servants, NGOs and all who have put in a hand to the effort to ease the sufferings of those affected.

5. All Permanent Secretaries had a debriefing at the Prime Minister's Office at 2pm 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.


8. To date, SBD 6,818,241.36 has been recorded from overseas donors, local businesses, Associations, communities, groups and individuals.

Red Cross has sent in its update with the following overall plan for the next phases of the disaster.

- Relief phase 1

Duration: April 5-12

Distribution items: Food, Water containers and tents.

Places: Gizo, Kolombangara, Ranongga, Simbo, Shortland, Choiseul, Vela La Vella:

- Relief phase 2

Duration: April 10-27

Distribution items; Tarpaulin, Hygiene kit, Cooking set, Cloths, Hurricane Lamp, Bush knife, mat for each affected family. Tent for really needed families Places: Vella La Vella, Kolombangara, Choiseul (excluding Tavul and Suravak wards)

- Rehabilitation at above three islands from Mid May for 4-12 months Water and Sanitation (restore village's water systems) Health (provide basic health Promotion at village level)

- Apr 19 Continue the distribution for Kolombangara, Kuzi (71 ), Kaza(25), Lodugovorama (4), Niu Buri(3), Vovohe(12),Shadow River(5), Ilitona(8),New Bareke(1), Hapi(1), Garama(2), Daibanga(3), Vlafu(4)

- Apr 20 Vila(12), Bibiu(3) Jack Habour(16) Sulimuni(3) Nughusu(13), Berea(7), Niu Takwa/Omna(5), Koqu Ringi(13), Hambere(3), Piluzei(3), Baru II(2), Nusamahiri(1).The total number of beneficiary by 20 Apr is 280. About 20 families at 6 villages will be finished tomorrow.


9. Various denominations and the public of Gizo held a mourning service this morning. The service was organized by the Gizo women at the JFK football stadium. Speaking during the memorial service, the Premier of Western Province, Alex Lokopio, called on the people to mourn together. "Let us grieve together as people of one nation to remember our fallen brothers and sisters", Mr. Lokopio said.

10. Premier Lokopio paid his respects to the young children and older people who lost their lives in the earthquake/tsunami disaster of 2nd April. Mr. Lokopio pointed out that the tragic event was the worst ever-natural disaster in our modern history, and one that will never be forgotten for many years to come.

7. Premier Lokopio acknowledged the swift responses taken by the various agencies in the wake of the disaster.He stressed that the rain of blessing has started by all our development partners, aid agencies, NGO, overseas friends, national government, churches, sister provinces, groups and individuals. "Everyone has given their support both in cash and kind, so let us use them wisely and thank God", he added.

8. A United Church Mission and Pastoral Relief Team is currently touring Simbo doing trauma counseling and giving out relief supplies provided by the United Church Assembly office through its partner Churches Overseas. The mission is code named 'carry one another's burden' and its team leader is Rev Milton Talasasa.

9. All the people of Simbo gathered at Lengana village on Monday 23rd April village to pray and remember those who died in April 2 the earth quake and Tsunami. The service which started at 9.30am where wreaths were laid, singing of hymns Was addressed by Reverends Gideon Tuke, Wilson Agiri and Milton Talasasa. The Superintendent Minister Rev Gideon Pina also gave an official address to welcome the families who lost their loved ones and to the rest of the people from all the villages around Simbo.

10. The Geology team that visited Ranongga island last week to assess reported blocked rivers has confirmed there are two. The first one is at Keara village and the second at Kolomali. In both locations the team reported that the walking distance is around 30 minutes and there are no roads, even bush tracks. It also confirmed that both rivers are blocked by debris (soil, rocks, big trees) from landslides. In both villages, the team quoted villagers as recommending that engineers be assigned to thoroughly assess how the rivers could be best handled to avoid further problems as soon as possible.


11. Taiwan Ambassador George Chan has announced last week his government will give a further SBD3 million for the reconstruction phase of the earthquake and tsunami stricken areas. ROC has earlier given SDB1.5 million dollars making its total contribution to SBD4.5 million. Taiwan wants to work closely together with UNDP, ADB, WB, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Japan, the US, PNG, RAMSI, and many other donors and NGOs for the speedy recovery of the affected areas.

12. Tevita Ravumaidama, Regional Program Advisor for Habitat For Humanity in the Pacific and James Samuel, who works with DR and HRCs in India have arrived in the country. Their missions is to go to affected communities to assess whether or not HFH needs to support with long term housing for those affected. They are still in Honiara.

13. A high-level ADB team has arrived and held discussions with NDMO Director Loti Yates today. Mr Yates has briefed the team about what has been happening to now.

14. 250 large tents ordered by UNICEF arrived today onboard a Heavy Lift B737 aircraft. The tents are awaiting transport to be taken to Gizo for distribution to affected communities

15. SOPAC says it wants to establish a Melanesian Volcano Network, MVN. The proposed MVN would act as a mechanism or platform for the exchange and sharing of resources and experience in order to reduce volcanic risk in the three countries on a joint 'sub-regional' basis. It might also act as a starting point for the longer-term inclusion of other Pacific Island Countries in sharing risk- reduction expertise and resources on a wider basis, and for inclusion of an 'all hazards' approach rather than just the threat of volcanic eruptions. Its first meeting is being proposed for the 24th of May 2007 at the Rabaul Volcanological Observatory is aimed at obtaining initial views and perspectives from key representatives from the countries involved and from the SOPAC Technical Secretariat, to explore how the MVN concept might be established and developed in a strategic sense.

16. ADRA says it has a 20ft Fiber glass canoe, an OBM Engine, 200 Bags of rice, 100 cartons of noodles, 40 cartons of Taiyo, 570 plates, 8 cartons of pots, 2 cartons of spoons, 3 cartons of plates and 4 cartons of cups.

17. The French Red Cross has applied for separate funding to undertake a program within this overall 'Red Cross' program but additional in terms of number of targeted beneficiaries, resources and infrastructural support. This involves working in the Sassamunga area of Choiseul, targeting 800 families/4,000 people in the areas of shelter and watsan for a period of four months. Three delegates have been proposed as well as appropriate infrastructure to support the program.

18. It is anticipated that once the finer details of these programs have been worked out an approach will be made to Solomon Islands government to formalise these details in a Memorandum of Understanding. Red Cross assures the Government of Solomon Islands that it will continue to endeavour to assist their people to recover from the devastating events of 2nd April 2007.

NEXT NDMO SITUATION REPORT: Tuesday 24th April 2007

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