Solomon Islands

South Pacific Tsunami - OCHA Situation Report No. 14

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
South Pacific Tsunami - April 2007
OCHA Situation Report No. 14

This situation report is based on information received from the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and National Disaster Council (NDC) of the Solomon Islands, UNDAC Team in the Solomon Islands, the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Fiji, OCHA Offices in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Bangkok, UN agencies, NGOs, donors and media sources.

SITUATION

1. An earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale struck 345km northwest of the Solomon Islands' capital Honiara at 0740 local time on 02 April. (2040 GMT 01 April). The earthquake created a tsunami causing casualties and significant damage to the Solomon Islands. Affected area includes Gizo, Simbo, Ranogga, Shortland Islands, Munda, Noro, Vella la Vella, Kolombangarra and parts of the southern coast of Choiseul. Gizo, Simbo Island, western coast of Ranongga and the central southern coast of Choiseul between Moli, Posarae and Sasamunga are worst-affected areas.

2. The official casualty figure has increased from 40 to 52, which now includes 33 fatalities in Gizo alone. The GoSI estimates that 475 households have been affected. Due to access difficulties, many communities remain without proper shelter and water supply. The overall picture of the humanitarian and rehabilitation needs in the tsunami-affected areas is still being defined.

3. Aftershocks are continuing, which is delaying the return of tsunami-affected communities to their home villages. Seismologists have indicated that another major earthquake in the western Solomon Islands is very unlikely.

4. The GoSI Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources reported that the tsunami caused considerable coastal erosion in the vicinity of Sasamunga (Choiseul Island) and alteration, which has both increased and decreased sea levels in many coastal regions. In many of these areas, fish and other marine organisms were killed due to shock wave and being washed ashore.

II. NATIONAL RESPONSE

5. The Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, accompanied by the NDC chairman Fred Fakari'i and other high-level government officials, departed for a six-day visit to the tsunami-affected areas. The mission visited Gizo and Ranongga on 15 April and will travel to Vella La Vella, Simbo, Shortland Islands, Choiseul and Munda before returning to Honiara on 20 April.

6. Tsunami-affected villages in the Choiseul Island have set up Village Disaster Committees (VDC) to assist in collection of information on humanitarian and reconstruction needs. However, Choiseul Province has no staffing and logistical capacity to assist the VDCs and have requested assistance from the NDMO in Gizo.

7. The Malaitian community from the Malaita Province and Honiara launched a fundraising effort to assist the tsunami-affected communities in the Western and Choiseul Provinces.

III. IN-COUNTRY INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE

8. In preparation for the departure of the UNDAC team from the Solomon Islands on 19 April, the UNDAC coordination team based in Gizo is returning to Honiara on 15-16 April. Some UNDAC members will leave the country already on 15-17 April. The UNDAC team will hand-over part of its humanitarian coordination duties to the staff of OCHA's Regional Disaster Response Adviser Office, who will arrive in Honiara from Fiji on 18 and 20 April and be present for 2-3 weeks. UNDP, through its Bureau for Conflict Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) will assist the Government in the coordination of recovery efforts.

9. The final UNDAC Field Situation report will be issued on 18 April.

IV. INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE

10. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has offered assistance to the Solomon Islands to restore damaged hydrometeorological stations.

V. TRANSITION TO RECOVERY

11. The NDC Technical Advisory Team, headed by the Permanent Secretary for Development Planning, met in Honiara on 16 April.

This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OSOCC Internet Website http://ocha.unog.ch/virtualosocc and on the OCHA Internet Website http://www.reliefweb.int/.

UNDAC Team Contact Details:

UNDAC Team leader
Location: National Disaster Management Office, Honiara Office +677 27 837, +677 27 051
Mobile +677 88716, +677 88718
e-mail: undacsi@gmail.com

UNDAC Field Team, Gizo
Location: Provincial Administrators Office for NDMO Mobile +677 88 697, +677 88 696
Satellite +870 764 130894
e-mail: undacgizo@gmail.com

For detailed information please contact:

OCHA Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (Bangkok)

Mr. Rajan Gengaje, Regional Disaster Response Adviser
Tel. + 66-2288-2572
Fax: +66-2288-1043
Mob. + 66-8-1916-1271
e-mail: gengaje@un.org

Desk Officers:

(NY)
Mr. Wojtek Wilk (desk officer for SI earthquake and tsunami)
Tel. +1-917 367 9748; e-mail: wilkw@un.org

(GVA)
Mr. Erik Kastlander
Tel. +41-22-917 1587

Press contact:

(NY)
Ms. Stephanie Bunker
Tel. +1-917 367 5126

(GVA)
Ms. Elizabeth Byrs
Tel. +41-22-917 2653

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.