Initial reports are indicating that we're not seeing a repeat of the Boxing Day tsunami of a little over two years ago, but with a 10-foot-high wave, it is still a nightmare scenario:
HONIARA, Solomon Islands - A bone-rattling undersea 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 13 people. The death toll was expected to rise.
Large waves struck the western town of Gizo, inundating buildings and causing widespread destruction within five minutes of the earthquake.
"There wasn't any warning â the warning was the earth tremors," Alex Lokopio, the premier of the Solomon's Western Province, told New Zealand's National Radio. "It shook us very, very strongly and we were frightened, and all of a sudden the sea was rising up."
So far, 13 people are confirmed dead, and "dozens" are missing. My prayers are with the victims and their families. I'll be tracking photos of this disaster in the extended body of this article, so be sure to continue reading for more details.Update:
The death toll has been increased to 15 dead, potentially "hundreds" missing
A LARGE-SCALE relief effort will be launched today to deliver aid to thousands of Solomon Islanders left homeless after a tsunami in the Pacific nation left hundreds missing when it washed away entire villages.
At least 15 people were last night confirmed dead after 10m waves struck some of the Solomons' most remote western provinces early yesterday, sending a wall of water 500m inland.
Thankfully, the waves hit during the day, and it would seem that Australia and the rest of the South Pacific have not been hit by the tsunami
Here's an eerie eyewitness account
The tsunami threat in the Pacific has ended
, and the donations are beginning to filter in
from overseas. It's interesting to note that many parts of the tsunami warning system, which was improved after the Boxing Day disaster, have worked magnificently
, and even if part of the warning turned out to be unnecessary
, it still performed admirably. Let that be a reminder that the science
of catastrophic-event prediction still consists of a large proportion of "voodoo."Correction:
A Blog for All points out that there were some failures in the warning system
Reports from Gizo are coming in and they're suggesting that there were no tsunami warnings issued and reports from other areas are slow coming in because of communications problems.
I'd still say it performed very well, considering how fast the alerts to other nations in the region were transmitted.Update:
The Australian Labour party is using this disaster to gain support for creating a "regional" disaster coordination body
. I'd think that "coordination" would be a good thing, unless there's going to be a nameless, faceless, wholly unaccountable bureaucracy involved. If any of y'all have any thoughts on the pros and cons of this type of centre, please feel free to chime in down in the comments section!Update:
It's now the 3rd
of April, and the death toll is still hovering around 30
, with "thousands" left homeless
. There is no official estimate on the number of people missing, but the total population of the Western region of the Islands seems to be roughly 51,357 people
, so it looks like the people of the Solomon Islands are far more fortunate than their Indonesian compatriots of two years ago.
The United States has promised
$250,000 in recovery aid to the Islands, and aid from other nations is starting to reach there, which leads to the obligatory "it's not enough
." When is it ever
enough? Aid may be slow, but it's comingâand with that, it seems that the Islands are starting to pick up the pieces at this point, which is definitely a step in the right direction.
It is interesting to note how little coverage this story got
in the blogosphereâwhich seems to support my little theory that "good news" is as equally "no news" in the blogosphere as it is in the sensationalist media. Very interesting, but otherwise merely an unscientific observation for the mental files. It is
good news that the citizens of Solomon Islands were as fortunate as they were, and that's all that matters for now.Blogroll: A Blog for All
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