6 dead, Solomon island villages destroyed by tsunami
By The Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, 9:42 p.m.
SYDNEY — Six bodies, including a child's, have been found in the sodden wreckage left by a tsunami that smashed into villages in the Solomon Islands, flattening dozens of homes in the South Pacific island chain.
The nearly 5-foot waves that roared inland on Wednesday on Santa Cruz Island, in the eastern Solomons, were too fast to outrun for five elderly villagers and one child, who died after being sucked under the rushing water, George Herming, a spokesman for the prime minister, said on Thursday.
Several other people were missing, and dozens of strong aftershocks were keeping frightened villagers from returning to the coast, Herming said.
“People are still scared of going back to their homes because there's nothing left, so they are residing in temporary shelters on higher ground,” Herming said.
The tsunami was generated by a powerful 8.0-magnitude earthquake that struck near the town of Lata, on Santa Cruz in Temotu, the easternmost province in the Solomons. Temotu has a population of about 30,000.
Smaller waves were recorded in Vanuatu and New Caledonia.
The damage appeared to be concentrated to the west side of Santa Cruz, with five villages wiped out, Herming said. Authorities were struggling to reach the remote area but said an estimated 100 homes were damaged.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- U.S. increases surveillance of N. Korea amidst rumors
- Pistorius team denies claim he took acting lesson
- Toll rises in South Korean ferry tragedy; more of crew held
- Extension for sputtering Mideast talks possible
- Syria yields bulk of toxic weapons
- Holocaust survivors taxed, student finds in search of Amsterdam city archives
- Mexico clears way for foreign investors in shale oil drilling
- Russia’s push into Ukraine leads NATO to increase its Baltics presence
- Ex-army chief, leftist to seek Egyptian presidency
- Radio transcript reveals South Korean ferry crew wavered on evacuation
- Abdullah widens lead in Afghan vote tally