DFA: No Filipino fatality in Solomon Islands quake


Posted at Apr 14 2014 04:40 PM | Updated as of Apr 15 2014 12:40 AM

MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said no Filipino died following a series of powerful earthquakes that hit Solomon Islands.

In a press conference, DFA Spokesman Charles Jose said the embassy near Solomon Islands is still closely monitoring the situation.

A 7.6-magnitude quake woke residents in the flood-hit capital Honiara early Sunday, followed soon after by a 5.9-magnitude aftershock, then a tremor close to midnight that measured 7.5, according to the US Geological Survey.

The quakes prompted two tsunami alerts that were swiftly cancelled, and the Solomon Islands government did not report any damage.

However, authorities in Papua New Guinea reportedly said there was one death in a separate 7.1 quake on Friday.

About 9,000 people remain homeless in Honiara after floods earlier this month claimed at least 21 lives. Save the Children's emergencies manager Graham Kenna said the quakes sent many running for their lives.

"It's terrified the people who are in these displaced centers, they're very, very frightened," he told AFP.

"Most of them went for higher ground but then they rushed back because they wanted to ensure what few possessions they have were safe.

"It hasn't disrupted the work we're doing that much, but it's put the people more and more on edge."

Kenna said food and supplies were being distributed but aid agencies estimated that only 40 percent of the items needed to cope with the disaster had so far arrived in the Solomons.

With regional stockpiles still depleted after Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) battered the Philippines in November, Hanna said additional supplies were being sent from the Middle East and South Asia but could be weeks away.

In the meantime, he said preventing an outbreak of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease already common in the Solomons before the floods, was a priority.

"All the extra water that's around is going to make the mosquitoes breed like crazy and I'd say that when it dries out, probably in the next three or four days, dengue's going to be a major issue," he said. – with Agence France-Presse