Small tsunami hits Solomon Islands after 8.0-magnitude quake

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“People around the coast and in the capital are ringing in and trying to get information from us and the National Disaster Office and are slowly moving up to higher ground,” Ms. Tahu said. “But panic? No, no, no, people are not panicking.”

Dr. Rooney Jagilly, the medical superintendent at the National Referral Hospital in Honiara, said the hospital asked about half its 200 patients to leave and stay with family or friends as a precautionary measure because the hospital is located near the shoreline. Those patients who weren’t mobile enough to move stayed, but the hospital remained ready to evacuate them.

Dr. Jagilly said there had been no flooding, and he hoped the hospital would return to normal Thursday. He said his staff was ready to mobilize to Santa Cruz because the small hospital there has no doctor after the previous one died recently.

An official at the disaster management office in Vanuatu said there were no reports of damage or injuries there.

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 Solomons are composed of more than 200 islands with a population of about 552,000 people. They lie on the “Ring of Fire” — an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones that stretches around the Pacific Rim and where about 90 percent of the world’s quakes occur.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck 50 miles west of Lata, at a depth of 3.6 miles.

• Associated Press writers Nick Perry in Wellington, New Zealand, and Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, contributed to this article.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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