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. An NDMO officer is continuing to operate the airport reception centre to receive, register and guide incoming relief teams.
5. Action Desks in the NDC head office are still working.
6. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has thanked Tim George, Special Coordinator of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, for accompanying his delegation to visit the earthquake and tsunami victims in the Western and Choiseul Provinces. Mr George had accompanied Prime Minister Sogavare's more than thirty delegation that visited the affected communities in Western and Choiseul Provinces from 15th to 20th April.
7. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has assured the nation of the government's commitment to ensure the survivors of the April 2 earthquake and tsunami are assisted till their lives are normalised. Mr Sogavare gave the assurance at the ecumenical service held in the capital on Monday.
The following summaries have been extracted from the minutes of the Technical Advisory Team's latest meeting.
8. Education sector
Rebuilding and Rehabilitation of schools in Western and Choiseul Provinces are the number one priority of the Ministry of Education. The number of schools destroyed or damaged by the earth-quake and tsunami includes Early Childhood Care Centres, Primary Schools, Community High Schools, Provincial Secondary Schools, National Secondary Schools and the Rural Training Centres. The affected schools along the coast are mostly destroyed or damaged by the tsunami, whilst some schools inland the damages was caused by the earth-quake. In the Western Province the affected schools are mostly on the islands of Gizo, Kolombangara, Rendoa, Rannonga, Vella La Vella, Simbo, Mono and the Shortlands. Whilst for Choiseul Province the affected schools are on the southern region of the island.
9. Pre-Earth-Quake and Tsunami Conditions
Before the disaster Western Province has two (2) National Secondary Schools, two (2) Provincial Secondary Schools, twenty four (24) Community High Schools. One hundred and three (103) Primary schools, fifty-one (51) Early Childhood Centres, five (5) Rural Training Centres plus Vanga Teachers College operating. Likewise Choiseul Province has one (1) Provincial Secondary School, eight (8) Community High schools, thirty-seven (37) Primary Schools, twenty-six (26) Early Childhood Centres and one (1) rural Training Centre Operating.
10. Damage and Loss Assessment
From the first assessment conducted by officers from the Ministry of Education two weeks after the earthquake hit Western and Choiseul Provinces on the 2nd April 2007 the indications are for Western Province twenty-two (22) schools from all levels needing urgent attention. The magnitude of destruction ranges from total destruction to minor damages to the school's infrastructure. There are also damages and loss of furniture and curriculum materials.
For Choiseul Province seven schools were identified as needing urgent attention. All of them are on South Choiseul. The level of impact of the earthquake and tsunami varies from complete destruction to damages of school infrastructures and loss of furniture and curriculum materials.
11. The second assessment team from the Ministry of Education has left on the 24/04/07. Their tasks will be to assess all schools especially the affected ones and provide detailed information about each one and the likely cost to recover or rehabilitate them.
12. The following information is extracted from the recent Technical Advisory Team (TAT) meeting:
To ensure its objective of Early Recovery, the TAT has agreed to form a RAP working group that will liaise with NDMO and PDC and other NGOs to get information for quick analysis. This will enable the group to identified areas which are of priority as well as gaps that will need support. A Matrix will be developed to be used by the RAP working group. The matrix will be continually updated as new information comes in. A rehabilitation plan will then be developed from the information gathered.
13. Feedbacks from the members were as follows:
- Ministry of Education
Under Secretary from Education gives a brief report to the group from their assessment team. Two assessment teams were sent to Choiseul and Western Province. The team assessed damages done to infrastructure and the impact on Human resources (Teachers). The team cross checked with the schools on what they have before and after the disaster. A full detailed report is yet to be finalized.
SIWA also sent a team to Noro to assessed damages done to their infrastructure and to check on the quality of water. The team only focuses on Noro and Munda where they have their infrastructure. Gizo water system falls under the responsibility of the Western Provincial Government. The team found that there is presence of salinity in the water source. SIWA has already advanced discussions with relevant government departments and landowners to fix this problem as soon as possible.
Two teams were sent to Choiseul and Western Province. The team found that damages were done to plantations and other crops; however the Ministry will be using its extension officers out in the two provinces to continually assess the damages. A working team was set up in the Ministry to look into the damages and to prepare a plan of action.
- Infrastructure Development
The Ministry sent 4 engineers to the two provinces and has found that there is extensive damage done to the infrastructures. A final report on the findings is yet to be finalised.
- Health and Medical Services
An Assessment team with help from AusAid was sent to the two provinces. Assessment was done on the Health Infrastructure, diseases, water supply and General Status of the dwellers. The ministry looks at support on different level. From the assessment the Ministry will be able to identified areas which need attention immediately and those which can be supported later. A full report on the findings is yet to be finalised as they are still receiving information.
a) Solomon Islands Electricity Authority (SIEA):
- An assessment was sent out to the two provinces. Their remedy plan will depend on the Provincial Government Plan.
- Forestry staffs in the provincial Centers are yet to report back
- Staff are working with the NGOs and a complete report yet to be finalised
- Engineers are still out in the provinces and information is yet to be reported sent back.
14. The Working Group consists of:
Ms. Jane Wae'tara, Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Coordination (MDP&AC); Mr. Duddley Mazini, MDP&AC;Mr. Francis Nori Ministry of Infrastructure and Development (MID); Br Tim Ngele Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD); Dr. Divi Ogaoga, Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) ; Mr. Charlie Bepapa, Natural Resources; Ms. Selina Boso, Ministry of Provincial Government and Rural Development (MPGRD); and Ms. Lyn Legua MDP&AC.
15. The water supply in Noro Township, Western Province, is said to have been
mixed with sea water .Noro resident Peter Londeka has reported to the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and Provincial Disaster Council (PDC) operation center in Gizo that the water supply had turned salty soon after the earthquake that struck the Western Province on April 2.NDMO has received this report and consulted the Solomon Islands Water Authority (SIWA) which said it is already aware of this problem. The Authority had already sent two of its staff members to Noro immediately after the earthquake/tsunami struck on the 2nd April and discovered this problem. It said it is already working with relevant departments in relevant Ministries and landowners of the area to fix the problem as soon as possible.
16. A twenty-member team from the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development is currently carrying out assessments of schools in affected areas of Western and Choiseul. The team has paid a courtesy visit to the Western Province Premier, Alex Lokopio, soon after they arrived earlier this week to be briefed on the current status of relief operations in the islands, and what to expect in the course of their surveys.
IN-COUNTRY INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE
17. The UNESCO will send a team of scientists to conduct a post-tsunami survey of the affected areas. The team will be led by Professor Brian McAdoo, a geologist with tsunami research experience. They plan to conduct their mission from May 8 or 9 to May 21. The team will be expected to share their survey information with NDMO and other stakeholders after their assessments. The members of the team are Dr. Brian G. McAdoo (Team Leader), Associate Professor, Vassar College, Andrew Moore of Kent State University, Kelly Jackson (RSMAS), Dr. Andrew Moore, Assistant Professor, Kent State University and Kelly Jackson, Graduate Research Assistant, University of Miami.
18. A four-man team of JICA officials who returned from visiting the affected communities briefly met the NDMO Director Loti Yates today to share their findings. Their full report will be sent after they reach Japan because they will leave tomorrow.
NEXT NDMO SITUATION REPORT: Friday 27th April 2007
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