Tsunami hits Solomons, wipes out village

A bone-rattling earthquake sparked a tsunami that sent 10-foot high waves crashing into parts of the Solomon Islands on Monday, wiping out one village and killing at least three people, officials and witnesses said.

Tsunami hits Solomons, wipes out village

A bone-rattling earthquake sparked a tsunami that sent10-foot high waves crashing into parts of the Solomon Islands on Monday, wipingout one village and killing at least three people, officials and witnessessaid.

Countries from Australiato Hawaiiwent on alert after the magnitude-8 jolt on Monday.

Fred Fakari, head of the National Disaster Council, said"some villages are completely wiped out". 

 

Police and residents said a 3m wall of water hit Gizo, aregional centre in the west, just 40km from the quake's epicentre, inundatingbuildings and causing widespread destruction.

Fakari said information on the extent of damage remainedsketchy, especially in the more isolated western areas.

 

A series of aftershocks, with a magnitude of up to 6.7, keptresidents in the area on edge.

Al Jazeera's correspondent, Dan Nolan, said three peoplewere confirmed dead.

He reported that many people living close to the sea in Gizomanaged to escape to safety after being warned to flee to higher ground.

Sergeant Godfrey Abiah of the Solomon Islands police saidofficers in Gizo had been warning residents to move to higher ground away fromthe coast when the tsunami hit, but communication links were lost soonafterwards.

"We have lost radio contact with the two police stationsdown there and we're not getting any clear picture from down there," hesaid.

Nolan said electricity had also been cut off and only a fewpeople were able to communicate by UHF radio or mobile phone.

Wiped out

Danny Kennedy, a dive shop owner andprovincial politician in Gizo, told Reuters: "There are quite large boatssitting in the middle of the road. Many of the houses that were on stilts aresitting on the ground. A number of the coastal communities have been completelywiped out."

He said the hospital had been evacuated and patients hadbeen taken to a doctor's house on higher ground, with more than 2,000 lefthomeless.

The National Disaster Management Office said up to 60buildings had been destroyed including houses.

From the capital Honiara, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corp.said residents on Simbo island had reported waves travelling up to 200m inland,damaging homes.

Geological agencies, including those in Australia and Japan, put the magnitude of thequake at 8.1 while the US Geological Survey revised its earlier estimate to 8.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck about 10kmbeneath the sea floor about 350km northwest of the Solomons capital of Honiara at 7:39am onMonday (20:39 GMT on Sunday).

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued awarning for Papua New Guineaand a lower-level "tsunami watch" for other places, including mostSouth Pacific countries.

Beaches in Queensland and New South Wales on Australia'seast coast were shut and some ferry services in Sydney were cancelled.

Warren Young, chief lifeguard of Gold Coast City Council in Queensland, said:"We just feel it's best to err on the side of caution in this respect."

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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