7 Feb 2013

Solomons police say six dead following earthquake and tsunami

5:00 am on 7 February 2013

The police in Solomon Islands say at least six people are dead and three others injured following an earthquake and tsunami that struck yesterday afternoon.

The 8.0 magnitude undersea earthquake off Solomon's sparked a tsunami warning for several Pacific island nations but appears to have had the biggest impact around the Santa Cruz region in Solomon Islands.

The acting permanent secretary responsible for National Disaster, Channel Iroi, confirms the deaths are from Nela, Luova, Bimbir,Venga and Malo villages on Santa Cruz.

He told the SIBC that a number of people are also reported missing in affected villages.

Meanwhile, disaster officials expect the focus of their response to the Tsunami will primarily be in the Temotu province in the southern part of the country.

The police commander John Lansley says because the area is quite isolated it could take a couple of days before they fully understand the extent of the damage.

"It is a significant distance from where the resources are kept, we do have preparatory resources already on the islands because this type of situation has been predicted as a possibility in the past but the major response will take some time."

John Lansley says members of the Regional Assistance Mission RAMSI are tying to assess affected regions by air.