Honiara (Agenzia Fides) - An 8 degree Richter scale earthquake followed by a 10 mt high tsunami struck Solomon Islands on Sunday 1 April leaving at least 10 dead, dozens of injured and whole villages washed away, particularly on the island of Gizo.
The tsunami alarm was cancelled after no more abnormal waves were recorded in monitoring systems in Japan and Hawaii. The tragedy triggered a race in solidarity and humanitarian aid on the part of governments and local religious communities. Aid is being collected in parishes, associations, religious congregations, schools and the local Catholic Church has called people to give generously.
The first people to be assisted will be over 3,000 in Gizo who fled the coastal areas to take shelter in the hills. These people need clean water, tents and food. In Gizo many public buildings and homes in low lying areas were damaged. Most of those killed were in Gizo, Choiseul or Mono.
A 3 mt high wave was also registered in Papua New Guinea particularly in the port city of Rabaul and in the French overseas territory, New Caledonia, where people were evacuated to safer places. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 2/4/2007 righe 25 parole 254)