17 Aug 2015

Solomons officials say people must be vigilant following quakes

7:30 am on 17 August 2015

The Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office says three strong earthquakes within a week should remind families of the need for disaster preparedness.

The Solomon Islands flag

The Solomon Islands flag Photo: RNZI

On Saturday, a shallow 6.6-magnitude quake struck some 460 kilometres from the capital Honiara.

A 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Solomon Islands last Monday, followed by a 6.6 quake a few days later.

The Director of the NDMO, Loti Yates, says the experience of tsunamis generated from local earthquakes in 2007, 2010 and 2013 means people are very reactive to shocks.

In 2013, 10 people died and thousands were left homeless when buildings were destroyed after the Solomons were hit by a tsunami following an 8.0-magnitude quake.

Mr Yates says NDMO awareness programmes include creating community emergency plans, but the key responsibility for disaster preparedness remains with individual households.

"People need to be aware that their safety and safety of their families, are their responsibility. We are only here to remind and ensure that people do consider risk reduction as part of life, and ensuring that they live in safety."

Loti Yates says in emergency events, they have been telling people not to wait for NDMO warnings, but to take action immediately.