Click here for updates on the situation and World Vision’s response in the Solomon Islands.
Wednesday, February 6, a magnitude-8.0 earthquake followed by several forceful aftershocks generated tsunami waves nearly five feet high that battered Santa Cruz Island in Temotu province of the Solomons.
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Residents of coastal communities fled inland to higher ground.
At least 100 homes were destroyed, according to World Vision staff members in the town of Lata, who did a quick assessment of damage.
As many as five people have been reported killed and more people and fishing boats may have been carried out to sea by the receding waves.
“I can see a number of houses that been swept away by the surge,” reported Jeremiah Tabua, emergency response coordinator for World Vision, as he walked through knee-deep water in a Lata community.
The Lata airport and four surrounding villages were flooded.
Provincial authorities, World Vision, and the local Red Cross are working together on a rapid assessment of damages and needs in the hardest-hit areas. The initial response is expected to include provision of clean drinking water, clothing, temporary sanitation facilities, and shelters for families who escaped their homes.
Word Vision has been present in the Solomon Islands, located northeast of Australia in the South Pacific, for more than 30 years, working across five provinces on disaster risk reduction, health, education, and water and sanitation.
The 200 islands in the Solomons are located on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes occur. Temotu, with a population of 30,000, is the easternmost province in the Solomons.
In 2007, a magnitude-8.1 quake in the western Solomon Islands killed more than 50 people and displaced thousands.
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Below are photos taken today from the Solomon Islands:
Give to our Disaster Response Fund to help meet the most urgent needs of children and families in the region. In the wake of a crisis, it is children who suffer most. World Vision is often one of the first organizations to begin relief work after a disaster, and we remain on the ground for the long haul, rebuilding communities and restoring hope.