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Monday 11 February 2013

ShelterBox responds to the Solomons Tsunami
ShelterBox responds to the Solomons Tsunami

Photo caption: The Warehouse CEO Mark Powell (left), World Vision CEO Chris Clarke (right) and an army of volunteers load ShelterBox tents and donated items into an Air Force Boeing 757.

A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) from New Zealand is being deployed to the Solomon Islands in response to the  undersea earthquake and subsequent 1.5 metres (5ft) high tsunami that hit Temotu Province in the Solomon Islands on the 6th February 2013.

ShelterBox Response Team members Lyndon Tamblyn from Bulls and Owen Smith from Kerikeri, both experienced response team leaders will leave as soon as flights become available.

The ShelterBox SRT will work alongside staff from World Vision, our partner in the Solomon Islands who are currently on the ground assessing the damage and the need for shelter. Pre-positioned stocks of tents and ShelterBoxes have been made available for the disaster hit area.

A New Zealand Air Force Boeing 757 is scheduled to leave this morning for the Pacific. It will be carrying relief supplies into Honiara, donated to World Vision by the Warehouse and ShelterBox. Stocks include shelter, sanitation kits, tarpaulins, water containers, and chainsaw packs from the New Zealand Government.

According to George Herming, a spokesman for the prime minister, some 100 homes and properties had been either damaged or destroyed.

Sipuru Rove, a spokesperson from the National Disaster Management Office in Honiara, said the relief effort was being hindered by debris at Lata airport. Planes are not yet able to bring relief supplies to the Islands because of damage to an airport that had been inundated by tsunami surges.

Solomon Islands Police Commissioner John Lansley said that his officers in Lata were helping to assess the damage and prepare for evacuation in the nearby villages.

"Sadly, we believe some people have lost their lives," he said. "Latest reports have indicated that the death toll has risen to thirteen, but there may of course be more."
More than 50 people were killed and thousands lost their homes in April 2007 when a magnitude-8.1 quake hit the western Solomon Islands, sending waves crashing into coastal villages.

The Solomon’s comprise more than 200 islands with a population of about 552,000 people. The islands lie on the "Ring of Fire" – an arc that stretches around the Pacific rim and where about 90% of the world's quakes occur.

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