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Big quakes rock Solomon Islands, tsunami unleashed

Last Updated: Monday, January 4, 2010 - 22:14

Canberra: Two major
earthquakes rocked the Solomon Islands today, destroying or
damaging scores of homes and unleashing a tsunami that crashed
ashore. Initial reports said no one was seriously hurt.

One temblor registered a 7.2 magnitude and the South
Pacific nation`s National Disaster Management Office said
reports of widespread damage were beginning to filter in late
today.

The tremors were centered beneath the ocean floor near
the town of Gizo, which was badly damaged in April 2007 when a
8.1-magnitude quake sent a tsunami crashing into the coast,
killing more than 50 people.

Another tsunami devastated a village on Rendova
Island, 300 kilometres from the capital Honiara, today,
disaster management official Loti Yates told news agencies.

"One report from police was that one village was hit
by a 2-3 meter wall of sea water," Yates said. "It was a
total inundation police saw in a fly over."

Rendova is home to about 3,600 people.

Yates said in Baniata village on Rendova`s coast 16
houses were destroyed and 32 damaged by the quake and the
wave.

"It could be several hundred houses have been
damaged ... but that is still not verified," said Yates.
"There are two to three villages where the situation
could be much worse."

-PTI

First Published: Monday, January 4, 2010 - 22:14

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