Santa Cruz villagers still needing help nearly a fortnight after tsunami | Pacific Beat

Santa Cruz villagers still needing help nearly a fortnight after tsunami

Santa Cruz villagers still needing help nearly a fortnight after tsunami

Updated 18 February 2013, 18:20 AEDT

In the Santa Cruz Islands work is continuing to provide relief and assistance to villages destroyed in the Tsunami nearly a fortnight ago.

The wave was generated by a magnitude eight earthquake offshore from the island group, causing a metre high wave, which took the lives of at least 10 people.

A number of aftershocks, and damage to airstrips and wharves meant relief teams were delayed from getting to the remote province.

As well there has been a standoff between some of those affected, unhappy with the help they were getting, which led to the deployment of extra police to the area.

Jonathan Tafiariki is the team leader in the Temotu province for the National Disaster Management Council based at the provincial capital Lata, and is heading up the relief and recovery effort.

He told Pacific Correspondent Campbell Cooney there is no time line at this stage for slowing down their work.

Presenter: Campbell Cooney

Speaker: Jonathan Tafiariki, the team leader for Solomon Islands' National Disaster Management Council

TAFIARIKI: Currently we continue doing all emergency support to all affected areas and we are having faced a lot of emergency support have been delivered out and we already covering all the villages that's been assessed for their actual needs.

COONEY: Are you getting much support from outside aid organisations?

TAFIARIKI: All of them are contributing. We have agencies like the Red Cross, World Vision, Oxfam, Save the Children as part of the emergency response team. They are working very hard .

COONEY: I understand a number of people who were badly hurt or severely injured were flown to Honiara. What's the situation with those who are still there?

TAFIARIKI: At the moment, according to the health group, they say are now looking, stabilising, but they're trying to get more information in case of any existing place for any outbreaks or things like this. But at the moment, the hospital is operating well with doctors and they are deploying health team around to various communities to ensure that they get more assessment on those areas for any, any signs of any that will give them signal on that whether an outbreak is imminent.

COONEY: For those who have lost their homes, what's the accommodation they are in now?

TAFIARIKI: They've been when we are there, they were already in camps up in higher grounds and we have provided them with all necessary things that's needed to continue their survival and they have been provided with tents and starter kits to start off any recovering phase on buildings like that if they will to start it their recovery process.

COONEY: Is any work been done by them on rebuilding and back in the old sites or are they talking about relocating?

TAFIARIKI: There are talks about relocating, but there seems to be aftershocks and people need to be more aware that the threat has now gone for any existing tsunami and we continue to be experiencing aftershocks which normally happens after every after major earthquake.

COONEY: When would you say things would start to quieten down and the effort will start slowing down? Would you put a time line on that?

TAFIARIKI: Hmm. I cannot say the time line here, but we are trying to as much as possible to shorten the emergency response and start off with the recovery, and also we aiming to shorten the recovery stage so that recovery and rehabilitation, so that people start to pick up and start helping themselves on their recovery process.

COONEY: We heard from the police that there was some concerns, a bit of violence, road blocks, that sort of things, which were by some unhappy locals. Has that been brought to a halt?

TAFIARIKI: Yeah, at the moment, we're after some, coming up with an understanding with those people they come to realise the difficulty in coordinating those things. They at the moment it's stable, the security concerns here and people are more patient now and they are working together with the operations centre to ensure things are flowing.

COONEY: And aids coming in by ships on a fairly regular basis then as well?

TAFIARIKI: Yeah, I think the second deployment just arrived yesterday of aids arrived yesterday, so we are currently continuing the offloading or unloading of this, of the vessel

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