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 Sasamunga.
3. 52 people have been confirmed dead.
4. An earthquake measuring 5.4 with a depth of 10km (6.2) miles was reported to have occurred 24 miles SE of Gizo island at 1444 yesterday. No damages have been reported but continuous aftershocks were reported for all affected areas. Principal Geologist Thomas Toba says these kinds of aftershocks will continue for weeks even months but they won't cause anymore tsunamis.
5. By the end of the fourth week, an overall assessment of impact consequences is still problematic. However, figures for some locations such as Choiseul island, Gizo and Vella La Vella are firming up and are expected to be reliable by the 1st of May. For other islands such as Simbo, Shortlands and Ranongga government field teams are in the process of either fielding initial assessment teams or more systematically re-appraising initial assessments. Damage details from these islands are also expected to be collated by 1st of May. Some NGOs and the Red Cross are also re-assessed early estimates as they provide victims with relief items. Damage assessment details are being coordinated through the TAT sub-committee structure.
6. While the extents of damage are still coming in and cost estimates have yet to be made, the sectors that have been affected either by the earthquake, the tsunami, a combination to the two, and/or subsequent landslides include:
- infrastructure (including transport, roads, bridges, wharves, power, telecommunications); water and sanitation systems; public buildings (schools, hospitals, rural health clinics, aid posts and government housing - some of which will necessitate asbestos clean-up); houses, shelters and livelihood provisions (gardens, boats, fishing equipment); natural resources (fisheries, environment);commercial activities (tourism industry, copra and cocoa production, local business enterprises).
7. The provision of psycho-social support, for both individuals and communities is ongoing. As part of the emergency phase, hospitals, rural health clinics and aid posts have received drugs and essential materials and re-supply will continue.
8. An NDMO officer who has been assisting the Gizo NDC operations centre with data collection has already returned to Honiara last Friday with a lot of data that is still being added to a data base in the Honiara office. He is being assisted by two officers from the Government Statistics office.
9. The National Disaster Council (NDC) held a meeting at 1600 today in Honiara. What has transpired from this meeting will hopefully be included in the next Sitrep.
10. A stakeholders meeting was held at 1400 today but details of what has transpired may be available in the next sitrep.
11. A donors' meeting will be held on Wednesday 2nd May at the NDMO office on Vavaya Ridge.
12. The NDC sees the priorities for the transitional phase as the following:
Housing and shelter, water supply and sanitation, internally displaced persons (IDP) camp management, livelihood recovery.
TAT sectors are currently in the field will identify priorities for the recovery phase.
13. The Lauru People's Association's(LPA) third relief shipment per MV Lauru will distribute 5 packages (2 copra in sacks, 1 carton, and 2 buckets of nails, (3" and 4") to the 37 affected villages. The supplies will be handed to each Village Disaster Committee by Mr Uriah Roba, an LPA representative accompanying the supplies. The LPA says it is not enough for every family but it depends on each VDC to distribute the items fairly to those who most need them. The Association has also advised villages that sharing the use of the items will be helpful. LPA hopes to send some more on their next shipment by on MV KCBM2 on week 5th May. The Association has also asked the VDCs to complete the Family Distribution Form that Roba will give them and return with the forms to hand to LPA when the ship returns. It says these forms are important for future distributions.
14. In addition to above, LPA facilitated the shipment of 50 tents from UNICEF on the same trip. Distribution will be one for each for the 37 villages while bigger villages will be given the extra ones.
15. An assessment under the leadership of Roy Keloni has covered 6 villages in Shortlands islands and visited 19 villages. It hopes to return to Gizo on Wednesday this week. The team has already assessed the following villages:
- Kariki, Kavorani, Keketea, Toumoa, Samanago, Pirumeri, Nila - central, Nila -Sapusapuai, Nila - Pokapokana, Maleai.
16. Still to be assessed:
- Gaomai, Komaliae, Harapa, Laomana, Sivilua, Koliai, Hare Hare, Paroling/Lofung, Kovou/Tuha, Nuhu.
17. The assessment team reports that people are still living in camps inland away from their homes. There is a high probability of food shortage. People in the area depend on sea resources to cater for their everyday needs. The assessment team says a member of their team is diving the reefs to assess what damages might have been caused by the earthquakes. It is reporting signs of newly formed reefs and alarming coral destruction. In some areas 90-95 percent of marine habitat has been destroyed. This means destruction of 70 % of the people's income earning capabilities, something the team reckons may take less than 20 years to recover.
18. Boats and canoes have been destroyed (no exact figure given). Food gardens provide 40% of food needs because of low lying quality soil and pests.
19. Wild pigs are reportedly destroying food gardens on Fauro island. The team has recommend another shipment of food supplies for Shortlands islanders for at least 6 months.
20. Some villages should have been declared as disaster areas even before the earthquake/tsunami on 2nd April because of the above reasons.
21. The following actions have been recommended as urgent:
- Food Items:
- Rice (no amount indicated); sugar; tea; flour; tin foods; salt.
- Non-food items:
- Tarpaulins (no amounts indicated);water containers; second hand clothing; Cooking and eating utensils; Nails; Kerosene; Petrol/diesel.
22. Immediate Rehabilitation:
- Agriculture tools (no amounts indicated); carpentry tools; copra dryer equipment.
23. Korovou PFNet needs to be supplied with new computer hardware and other accessories. The current one is too old. The station also needs better printing equipment and photocopier to serve the needs of the people.
24. The team has recommended a distribution base in the Shortlands at either Korovou or Nila to be manned by a reliable and trusted person.
25. The Reko district communities of Northeast Guadalcanal have donated SBD4068.40 cash and SBD3586.60 worth of kitchel utensils and other goods. Reko committee chairman handed the donations to NDMO director at Reko yesterday and witnessed by Dr Derek Sikua the MP for the area and Minister for Education and Human Resources Development. Dr Sikua also told the community that the 8 MPs of Guadalcanal have agreed in a meeting on April 18 they would each contribute $20,000 towards the relief effort in Western and Choiseul Provinces.
26. Two officials of the Solomon Islands Water Authority (SIWA) have donated the Authority's donation of SBD10000 through cheque. The donation was received by NDC Chairman Fred Fakari'i this morning. The two officials also presented a copy of the Authority's report about their services at Noro and Munda in the Western Province to the Chairman.
IN-COUNTRY INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE
27. A number of international and local NGOs, supported by international donations, have provided relief on the ground. As of 27th April,2007, total donations provided to SIG (including SIG contributions) have amounted to approximately SBD12.4 million, comprising private donations and international contributions from Australia, Canada, European Union, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, the Pacific Forum, Papua New Guinea, Republic of China, Republic of Kiribati, Turkey, UK and USA. In addition, donors have funded NGO, Red Cross and UN activities through funds, staff, material and logistics support. UNICEF had a leading role in non-food item distribution, water supply and sanitation, shelter and health. Logistics support and medical services were also rendered by RAMSI, Australian, French, New Zealand and US defense forces. Early in the emergency phase, cluster working groups on shelter, health, water and sanitation, non-food item distribution, and child protection were facilitated by UNDAC.
NEXT NDMO SITUATION REPORT: Tuesday 1st April 2007
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