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Humanitarian crisis looms over Solomon Islands

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Humanitarian crisis looms over Solomon Islands

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A humanitarian crisis is threatening the tsunami struck Solomon Islands with emergency aid only starting to trickle in and powerful aftershocks still rattling the country. At least 24 people are reported to have been killed, but the death toll seems certain to rise with hundreds more missing.

Yesterday’s underwater quake which caused the deadly waves up to 5 metres high, measured 8.1 on the Richter scale and struck close to the island of Gizo. Authorities say aerial patrols are reporting “massive and widespread” damage.

This area has long been a tourist paradise attracting international travellers, especially scuba divers for its rich coral waters and shipwrecks.

Around 4,000 people have taken refuge on high ground. The Solomon Islands lie on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire” where volcanic activity and earthquakes are fairly common.