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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Rendova Island suffers damage from earthquake in Western Solomons

Earlier yesterday, reports of two earthquakes measuring 7.2 and 6.5 made global headlines. Although no tsunami warnings were put in place for the Solomon Islands, PFNet Communications Officer, Tony Matelaomao reported from the Western Province on the extent of damage in the aftermath. The report also underlines the important role PFNet continues to play with its far-reaching rural email stations. This is the report from Mr. Matelaomao.

PFNet rural email station of Rarumana was able to communicate with Baniata community clinic radio who reported some damages to their village following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake which struck this morning with epicentre not far from the village.

Within an hour of the quake Rarumana PFNet rural email station reported that Baniata community was able to establish communications with the station and reported that they have damaged residential homes, damaged dugout canoes, people running to higher grounds only to be stopped by landslides from the nearby hills.

People who were out early to their food gardens, those that went out fishing and those travelling between nearby Hopongo village could not immediately be accounted for but that otherwise their has not been any casualties/injuries.

Later detailed reoports were relayed about 16 homes completely shaken to the ground with 60 others "lamed" considered unsafe for habitation.

On contact, it was also reported that a helicopter has handed in the village, presumably to gather preliminary damage reports.

From the reports, it seems that a local tsunami has been established within the immediate surroundings of the epicentre.

Rarumana and Simbo Email stations have both reported "abnormal" tides immediately after the quakes that caused fear among villagers. On contact, the PFNet headquarters established contacts with the National Disater Management Office who advised that no tsunami warnings were forthcoming but that people should take necessary precautionary actions.

Biche village on Vangunu has also sent in a report through Bekabeka Distance Learning Centre that no damages or abnormalities to the ocean were experienced in the village apart from the quakes.

Source: Lifhaus

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