12 Apr 2014

One confirmed dead following strong earthquakes in Bougainville

6:49 pm on 12 April 2014

Two strong earthquakes on Friday night in Bougainville have claimed the life of a young child as houses collapsed in the southern provinces.

A resident, Lawrence Daveona, says people were running to the hills in fear of a tsunami, but there has been no warning issued and no reports of any tsunami since the 7.3 quake, which was followed by a 6.8 quake.

The Acting Deputy Administrator of Operations for the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Herbert Kimai, says he is still waiting for reports from Torokina and Sewai but says a four-year-old child died in Buin after a house collapsed in Maluata village.

He says other houses collapsed in Ugukau village, and the quakes were also felt as far north as Buka.

"Here in Buka, you know the house swaying and floating, it lasted for a few minutes, I think less than two minutes, but that's Buka, and in Buin it actually got down the houses and of course caused the death of the four year old child. He pronounced dead at the Buin Health Centre last night."

Herbert Kimai says he fears the heavy rains that have caused flooding in the Solomons are headed towards Bougainville.