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. Aid Reaches All Of Tsunami-Devasted Areas In Solomons

Aid groups such as TSF are bringing satellite phones to people across the Solomons to assist in contacting family and friends.
by Staff Writers
Honiara (AFP) April 11, 2007
Emergency supplies have reached all the areas devastated by last week's earthquake and tsunami in the western Solomon Islands, officials said Tuesday. "What we don't know is the exact quantity of how much aid has reached each specific village and person. We'll get that information soon," said Julian Makaa of the National Disaster Management Office.

Many residents of outlying in areas in the region, which includes scores of islands and villages reachable only by small boats, have complained about the slow pace at which supplies were distributed after last Monday's disaster.

Prime Minister Mannaseh Sogavare has apologised for the delay in reaching some victims of the 8.0 earthquake and tsunami, which has so far left 40 people confirmed dead and around 24 reported missing.

He added the government had done its best to meet the needs of those affected by the tsunami.

A statement from the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team said there was adequate food in affected communities. But many food growing areas were damaged by the waves or landslides.

"Most of the communities are still afraid of accessing their fields due to fear of landslides and therefore rely on food supplies provided by relief agencies," it said.

Up to 7,000 people were displaced by the disaster, with many afraid to return from hill camps to lowland homes because of fears of another tsunami.

Sogavare said the government would look at measures to avoid a repeat of the devastation, including resettling people living on low-lying atolls and coastlines.

Aid workers in the town of Gizo, the centre for the relief operation and one of the worst-affected areas, said the focus of the aid effort was starting to move to recovery and rehabilitation. Villagers want tools so they can build shelters after spending days sleeping in the open or under tarpaulins.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Two of the world's worst natural disasters in recent years stemmed from different causes on opposite sides of the globe, but actually had much in common, according to researchers who are part of a large National Science Foundation-funded research initiative that has been studying both the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 and the Hurricane Katrina of 2005.

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