Honiara (Asianews/Agencies) – A strong underwater quake today generated a devastating Tsunami which hit the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. The latest figures put the death toll at 15. The figures were relayed by an official from the western province which was worst affected by the disaster. “Latest reports say that there are at least 15 people dead in Gizo, the main town in the western province, but we still have no information from the other islands” relayed the Prime Minister Alex Lokopio on New Zealand Radio.
The 8.1magnitude quake, provoked landslides which have buried several villages and seriously damaged Gizo hospital, while the while a tsunami sucked homes into the sea as thousands of panicked residents fled for higher ground. So far the homeless number between 2 and 3 thousand. Eye witness accounts report that the water rose to almost 5 metres above sea level.
The tsunami warning, immediately in action following the Solomon disaster, for Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu has been down graded. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii explained that no further “large waves” are expected to strike the area.
December 26 2004 a sea quake off Sumatra island provoked a tsunami which hit many Indian Ocean nations; Indonesia was among the worst hit with over 40 thousand people killed.