Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Solomon Is. - Tsunami death toll rises to 28

A tsunami hit the Solomon Islands on Monday killing at least 12 people [BBC]. But whilst the death toll was nowhere near the devastating events of 26th December 2004, the panic that ensued amongst the people of the islands was said to be great. The island of Ghizo was the worst hit according to reports, but in Australia tsunami warnings were also issued. Ghizo, popular with Australian divers was hit by 3 metre high waves. One woman described her escape in a canoe. Naomi Baea said a house had collapsed on one elderly woman and that as they made their way across the ocean, she and her family were surrounded by dead dogs and peoples possessions that were washed away. Others spoke of the devastation left in the wake of the tsunami [BBC]. There was scant news coverage of the event by most of the major broadcasters despite the large magnitude of the earthquake which triggered the tsunami. The magnitude was measured at 8.0 on the Richter scale by the USGS occurring at 8.453S, 156.956E. This initial tremor hit at 20:39 UTC on the 1st April, 07:39 local time on the 2nd April. Since thence there has been nearly 20 aftershocks since the initial earthquake, though most have been measured at less than 6.0 on the Richter scale. Today it was reported that aid was beginning to arrive on the islands [BBC] as the death toll was said to have risen to 28 [CNN].

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