6 Jan 2010

UNICEF team assessing damage and needs in Solomon Islands after earthquake

7:09 am on 6 January 2010

A team from the United Nations organisation, UNICEF, is assessing damage caused by the series of earthquakes in Solomon Islands.

Landslides and a small tsunami were triggered, destroying or damaging many houses on the western islands of Rendova and Tetepare.

The UNICEF team arrived in the area by canoe last night, about 36 hours after the first quake on Monday morning, which had a magnitude of 7-point-2.

Early this morning there was another quake, with a magnitude of 6-point-9, followed by a number of smaller quakes.

UNICEF's Deputy Representative in the Pacific, Tim Sutton, is hoping more will be known about the extent of the damage when the team reports back today.

"They are equipped with satellite phones and an assessment sheet and they've got food for three days and all that sort of thing and they are going and visiting a number of villages on the two islands to get a first hand look at what the situation is and what the needs are."

Tim Sutton says other teams are preparing aid supplies.