Australian Government to assist the people of Solomon Islands
08 February, 2013
Venga Village in Temotu Province, following the powerful earthquake and tsunami that hit the Solomon Islands. Photo: World Vision Solomon Islands
George Baragamu from the National Disaster Office with AusAID's Jo O'Shea checking out tsunami damage in Temotu Province from an Australian Air Force Hercules. Photo: AusAID
Photos from Santa Cruz
The Australian Government has received a formal request for assistance from the Solomon Islands Government, following the magnitude 8 earthquake and tsunami on February 6.
A magnitude 8 earthquake struck the Santa Cruz Islands at 12:12pm (AEDT) at a shallow depth of 28.7 kilometres, and generated a local tsunami estimated to be about 1 metre high.
Six villages were inundated and at least nine people killed.
The Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office estimates that 3,500 people have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Early reports suggest Lata airport, wharf and six surrounding villages were inundated when a one metre high wave struck the coast on February 6.
The Australian Government expressed condolences to the people of Solomon Islands. AusAID is now working with the Solomon Islands Government and other partners to assess the situation and help those in need.
The Solomon Islands Government has requested assistance in delivering emergency aid.
Australia will assist with delivery of emergency food and medical supplies and conduct aerial reconnaissance of disaster-affected areas in the Solomon Islands.
This has been a devastating experience for the people of low-lying communities in Temotu Province. Foreign Minister Bob Carr said he was proud Australia has been able to meet this request by supporting urgent supplies of medicines, food and logistical support.
Australia’s initial aid contribution comprises:
- $50,000 to the Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office for aircraft fuel and logistical support
- $250,000 to the Solomon Islands Red Cross
- aerial reconnaissance by a Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules, which departed Australia on February 7 to assist in directing relief efforts.
With Australian assistance, a Solomon Islands patrol boat also left Honiara on February 7 carrying medical supplies, tarpaulins, jerry cans, water and rice for affected communities.
Effective preparation plays a key role in reducing communities’ vulnerability to natural disasters. In Solomon Islands we coordinate with the National Disaster Management Office and other partners to better prepare for disasters. This includes holding monthly meetings with non-government organisations and donors on national disaster management issues. An Australian volunteer will also work with the National Disaster Management Office to provide training and help build vital disaster response and preparedness skills.
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Last Reviewed: 13 February, 2013