10 Feb 2013

Water purification unit arrives in quake hit Solomons

9:55 pm on 10 February 2013

Another boat carrying vital supplies and relief aid has arrived in the area worst affected by Wednesday's earthquake and tsunami in Solomon Islands.

Aid agencies say reaching the far eastern Santa Cruz Islands of Temotu Province, which bore the brunt of the disaster, has been difficult but the latest supplies will make a huge difference.

A boat also reached Lata, the province's capital, earlier on Sunday with a shipment which included rice and a Red Cross nomad water purifying machine.

The machine will be set up and was expected to begin bringing much needed clean water to quake stricken villages by Sunday evening.

Solomon Islands Red Cross secretary general Joanne Zoleveke says the water situation has been extremely poor over the past four days and getting the machine running is a priority.

She says communication with aid workers in Lata remains patchy but a team is working to fix the telecommunications problems.

Eleven people have died following the magnitude 8.0 earthquake and tsunami and several strong aftershocks have further complicated the relief effort.