A devastating tsunami struck off the coast of the Western Provinces of the Solomon Islands early this week following a powerful earthquake and many subsequent after shocks. The first quake reached a magnitude of 8.1 on the Richter scale, causing much destruction throughout the island nation. Many shocks were felt for several days following the massive wave that destroyed homes, hospitals and schools.
The American Red Cross is responding to an emergency appeal from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (International Federation) to aid tsunami survivors. The donation of $50,000 from the American Red Cross will be used to assist the Solomon Islands Red Cross (SIRC) provide affected communities with safe drinking water, medical care and emergency shelter.
“The main focus of the work of Red Cross in the Solomon Islands now will focus on getting relief where it is needed as quickly as possible,” said Nan Buzard, Senior Director of International Disaster Response for the American Red Cross. “We are concerned about the more remote areas, which Red Cross workers are accessing by canoe where necessary.”
With the help of trained volunteers, the SIRC responded to the disaster immediately, carrying out early assessments and distributing relief goods including hurricane lamps, blankets, tarps and cooking sets which were stored in a Red Cross warehouse in the small town of Gizo.
As damage assessment continues, early reports indicate that more than 5,000 people have been made homeless by the tsunami. The International Federation is working closely with the SIRC to meet immediate and long term needs of the survivors.
The American Red Cross continues to assist survivors of the Asian tsunami that struck the region in 2004.
You can help those affected by countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. Call 1-800-RED CROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the International Response Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation.