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Solomon Islands disaster relief

February 8, 2013

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced Australia will assist with delivery of emergency food and medical supplies and conduct aerial reconnaissance of disaster-affected areas in the Solomon Islands following the magnitude 8 earthquake and tsunami on February 6.

Senator Carr will also visit the Solomon Islands this Sunday (February 10) for talks on progress of the recovery effort.

“This has been a devastating experience for the people of low-lying communities in Temotu Province,” Senator Carr said.

“Six villages were inundated and at least nine people killed.

“Many more are reported missing and our thoughts are with their friends and families as they search for their loved ones in the inundated areas.

“The Solomon Islands Government has requested assistance in delivering emergency aid. I’m proud we’ve been able to meet this request by supporting urgent supplies of medicines, food and logistical support.”

Australia’s initial aid contribution comprises:

• $50,000 to the Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office for aircraft fuel and logistical support;
• $250,000 to the Solomon Islands Red Cross; and
• aerial reconnaissance by a Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules, which departed Australia on February 7 to assist in directing relief efforts.

With Australian assistance, a Solomon Islands patrol boat also left Honiara yesterday (February 7) carrying medical supplies, tarpaulins, jerry cans, water and rice for affected communities.

The Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office estimates that 3,500 people have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Early reports suggest Lata airport, wharf and six surrounding villages were inundated when a one metre high wave struck the coast on February 6.

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