Disease threatens tsunami survivors

Thousands of survivors in the tsunami-hit Solomon Islands are facing the threat of disease, as relief workers warn that aid and recovery efforts are chaotic and lack the necessary resources.

Disease threatens tsunami survivors

Thousandsof survivors in the tsunami-hit Solomon Islands are facing thethreat of disease, as relief workers warn that aid and recovery efforts arechaotic and lack the necessary resources.

Much ofthe incoming emergency supplies are not reaching the worst-hit areas due to ashortage of vehicles and workers to load the trucks, officials said.



The deathtoll from Monday's tsunami, triggered by a magnitude 8 earthquake, now standsat 34.

Dozensmore are still missing, the National Disaster Council said, although there isno official tally.



Governmentand international rescuers have been struggling to reach the hardest hit areasin the remote west of the country where officials believe hundreds of homes havebeen destroyed.

"Weare under-resourced, we need bigger vehicles," said Jonathan Taisia, a RedCross disaster official in Gizo town.

He saidthey needed more workers to clear the debris which has cut off roads tooutlying areas.


Most aidwas being delivered to Munda, on a nearby island, but a shortage of boats hashampered distribution efforts.

The bulkof the local fleet of canoes and other vessels were destroyed by huge waves upto 5 meters high.

Thegovernment has said thousands more stranded in remote villages and hilltopshelters may not get help for another two days due to impassable roads.

Most fearreturning to their homes as strong aftershocks continue to shake the SouthPacific islands.

GeorgeHerming, a government spokesman, said 5,400 homeless people may have to waituntil Friday for urgent supplies of food, water and shelter to arrive.

Officialssay the death toll could rise with an increasing risk of disease, includingmalaria.

"Ithink the thing right now is water, water and tents. People are still up in thebush and are reluctant to go back to the villages," said Charles Kelly,secretary general of the Solomon Islands Red Cross.

Somecoastal areas are still inundated, with aerial patrols reporting seeingfloating bodies.

Thegovernment has declared an emergency in the affected areas. The Red Cross hasurged the homeless to return to their villages but most people are staying putfearing more tremors and tsunamis.

Thecountry's closest neighbours, Australia and New Zealand, have offered $2million in aid and sent around 100 soldiers who arrived on Wednesday withwater, food rations, shelter and other relief supplies.


Militaryrescuers will also ferry essential items and supplies to the worst-hitprovinces by helicopter and boat.

Thetsunami caused widespread damage to homes constructed from traditionalmaterials, while the earthquake caused more damage to sturdily-constructedbuildings.

Thedouble disaster forced the closure of food markets, disrupted fishingactivities and halted domestic farming.

Theislanders live scattered through a string of small islands along the Pacific's"Ring of Fire", where volcanic activity and earthquakes are common.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16