The Initial Situation Overview (ISO) arial assessments conducted following the magnitude 7.0 earthquake yesterday confirms no significant damages. The Overview assessments was purposely to identify the scope and scale of the damage caused by the massive shake.
Based on the ISO, the National Emergency Operation Center (NEOC) which was activated on a full on activation yesterday afternoon has scale down its level of activation to a standby mode later in the evening and then to on Stand-down late last night after the National Disaster Operations Committee (N-DOC) emergency briefing at the NEOC.. Whilst the NEOC stand down, the Guadalcanal Provincial Emergency Operation Center (GP-PEOC) remain activated to lead the Initial Damage Assessment to the South Guadalcanal.
According to the situation overview report, the damage caused by the earthquake was very minimal and confined to communities close to the epi-center of the earthquake. The ISO confirmed that there was no signs of any tsunami on the areas of interest. The ISO however, confirmed that there were more than 10 landslides scattered across the areas of interest. It also confirmed that no collapsed of buildings were sighted and that observations confirmed that people are going about their normal activities as soccer games were played and people were seen walking along beaches.
Given the ISO being the first stage of the assessment normally conducted by the NEOC to identify the scope and scale of the event, and it is normally done through aerial assessment, the ISO team has recommend to the N-DOC for the Provincial Disaster Committee of Guadalcanal Province (P-DOC GP) through the GP PEOC to undertake an Initial Damage Assessment which is a rapid assessment conducted on the ground to determine the actual damages caused by the massive shake on the villages located in the areas of interest.
NEOC confirmed that GP PEOC has been notified and a Response Plan of Action (PoA) has been developed for the deployment of a joint IDA team lead by Guadalcanal Province to conducted Coordinated IDA.
In Honiara, there were several reported damages from the earthquake. The know reports so far stated that AJ City Mall experienced some damages to walls and ceilings, Hundai Mall has some of its tiled walls collapsed, there were also partial collapse of the ceiling experienced at the Development Bank of Solomon Islands inside the Anthony Saru building. The Departure lounge at the Honiara international airport also sustain damages to its ceiling.
There were also reports of a collapsed residential building at Burns Creek with injuries to its occupants. The known casualties so far are four persons sustaining injuries mainly from fall materials from buildings.
As for other provinces, no reports of damages except that some of the Islands also felt the shake of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake.
It is understood that the United Nations Office in Solomon Islands as the Donor Coordination lead during disaster under the Solomon Islands Disaster Management Arrangement is organizing a Donor Coordination Briefing for later this afternoon.
The Chairman of the National Disaster Council (NDC) through the National Disaster Operations Committee (N-DOC) acknowledges the prompt assistance from the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through the Australian Federal Police through Royal Solomon Islands Police Force and Australian Federal Police Policing Partnership Program (RAPPP) on the use of the Bell-222 Helicopter.
The NDC Chair also acknowledges the Australian Defense Force (ADF) on placing their Air Force Hercules on standby, as well as the New Zealand Government through the New Zealand Air Force (NZDF) to also place its P3 Aerial Surveillance Air Craft on standby to assist. Given the level of interest to the event from around the region, the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) through the NDC reassured that the situation is under control and is being addressed through the Solomon Islands Disaster Management Coordination Arrangement as set out under the Solomon Islands Disaster Management Plan 2018, implemented through the N-DOC and P-DOC Guadalcanal Province and that any need for external assistance is to be determine through the appropriate mechanisms established under the country’s disaster management arrangement.