6 Jan 2010

Solomons PM visits earthquake zone

1:19 pm on 6 January 2010

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister is visiting areas that have been badly affected by this week's series of earthquakes and aftershocks.

Western province was rocked by at least six earthquakes overnight including one measuring 6.9.

It hit the area where a 7.2 magnitude quake struck on Monday, causing landslides and damage to village homes on Tetepare and Rendova.

Our correspondent Dorothy Wickham says Dr Derek Sikua has joined a relief team on board a Royal Solomon Islands Patrol boat.

"The Director of the National Disaster Management office Loti Yates has confirmed that the Prime Minister was visiting the affected areas today. And the plan is that he will be following into the places where disaster relief is being distributed this morning. The police boat has left Munda, the closest provincial town to where one can get supplies for these villages."

Dorothy Wickham says other officials who have also joined the PM include the Minister of Home Affairs, the MP for Rendova and an assessment team from the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure.