2 Aug 2007

Powerful earthquake damages Luganville on Vanuatu island of Santo

2:10 pm on 2 August 2007

A powerful earthquake near the Vanuatu island of Santo has caused damage to the wharf, the bridge and buildings in the main town of Luganville.

A police officer was injured during the 7.2 magnitude quake as he tried to leave police headquarters and many residents fled their homes when it struck at about 4am local time.

A local journalist says people were panicking and some began to flee to higher ground.

The officer in charge of the Northern District, Superintendent Willie Samuel, says he has driven around Luganville to check out the damage.

"Most of the shops were closed due to damages, some slight damages to the main wharf and also the main bridge in Luganville so the engineers are fixing them up right at the moment. We had power cuts and then we have water cuts in some part of the Luganville town so all the schools without water, have closed down."

Superintendent Willie Samuel