Wednesday, February 6, 2013

At Least 5 Dead After Tsunami Hits Solomon Islands

Picture above of a Solomon Island town shows how some houses are built near the sea, to catch the cooler ocean breezes, but they face danger when large earthquakes erupt nearby.

Reports are of at least 5 fatalities after an 8.0 earthquake struck near the Santa Cruz Islands a southern cluster of the Solomon islands about 500 miles from Honoria and a Tsunami hit the shores of the closest ones.   An older man who was fishing offshore in a dugout and a 10 year old boy are said to have died, but further islands including the main Solomons and Hawaii and Vanuatu had their warnings expire without major incident.

The Tsunami that hit Santa Cruz was only 1.5 meters, but the amount of force said to be like a raging river with the whole of the ocean behind it, which then recedes dragging with the same intensity and power, noted in other Tsunamis as dragging children out of mothers and fathers hands to take its prisoners far out to sea. Tsunamis can grow larger is funneled into bays and can raise surprisingly in estuaris, ports, marinas, and as they go up river beds or are otherwise funneled.  The video of the Samoa tsunami was the most terrifying thing I'd seen until the ones after the Tohoku quake in March 2011.  It was hard to believe that Northeast Japan was being swamped by that monster, and I felt like it would actually be welcome if Godzilla should appear any second and let us know it was all fake.

Though apparently most people started heading towards higher ground after today's quake according to early reports as soon as they felt the shaking, as it usually happens that some don't make it especially if the triggering quake is nearby.

In 2007 an earlier quake hit near the Solomons at Richter scale 9 or  more.  The WSJ reminds its readers that 57 people died in that instance.  It seemed to signal a renewed attack on the South Pacific after the horrific Tsunami hit off Sumatra on Boxing Day in 2004 (and another one a weeks later).. 

The Solomons string off the southeast end of Papua New Guinea and are about 1500 miles from Samoan Islands that suffered a devastating post quake wave a few years ago.  The whole area like Japan, and South and North America are part of the Ring of Fire known for it's large quakes and Tsunami creation.

I found WSJ's  Tsunami Destroys Villages in Solomons   and CBS  Deadly tsunami hits Solomon Islands in South Pacific to be helpful though I read many reports from other sources too.

Or check a news search (Google, Bing, Yahoo) for the latest.