Location of the Solomon Islands (9.)
On April, 2 2007, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake occured about 345 kilometers from the capitol of the Solomon Islands- Honiara (1.) A tsunami quickly ensued, causing waves ranging from two to ten meters (2.) The initial earthquake was followed by one mere minutes after. This earthquake measured 8.2 (4.) The tsunami that arose from those earthquakes devastated the Solomon Islands. More than thirty people died while others were rendered homeless. There is a population of about 100,000 in the Western and Choiseul provinces; the Ministry of Health and Medical services expects that upwards of 50,000 people have been affected by this disaster (5.) Gizo Island experienced the most damage of all the islands. Its hospital was completely destroyed as well as many of its schools (5.)
The earthquake that caused the tsunami occurred on the Solomon Islands subduction zone. Three plates are subducted along this subduction zone: the Solomon Sea plate, the Woodlark plate and the Australian plate (2.) Subduction zones typically produce the highest magnitude earthquakes, as they occur on a convergent plate boundary. Convergent plate boundaries are places where two or more plates ram together-mountains are frequently formed on convergent plate boundaries. The Solomon Islands are located in the infamous "Ring of Fire" in the Pacific. The "Ring of Fire" is well-known for its volcanic and seismic activity (6.) Tsunamis occur when there is a large displacement of water. Earthquakes are the typical-but not the only-cause of tsunamis. In
Solomon Islands' tectonic boundaries
some areas, people report seeing the ocean retreat before a tsunami hits land, but this does not always happen. Some residents of the Solomon Islands saw the water retreat but the phenomenon was not seen on all of the islands.
Residents of the islands describe feeling four or five more earthquakes after the main shock. To survive until help arrived, survivors had to boil water to make it safe for consumption. Austrailia sent an AusAID disaster management specialist to organize the relief efforts. Outbreaks of gastrointestinal diseases were a major issue as water supply and sanitation decreased. Water purification tablets, and mosquito nets were also distributed to prevent the outbreak of malaria. Police handed out rice and toilet paper. Until they are able to rebuild their houses-and feel safe doing so-some residents are living in tents made out of tarpaulins (8.) Relief organizations, although extremely willing to help are finding it difficult to distribute the aid and supplies to those in need because the infrastructure was damaged. Many roads were completely destroyed and most ways of contacting people have been destroyed (10.) Documentation of disease spreading because of the tsunami is difficult to find but one can only assume that cholera and malnourishment are among the unwelcome diseases found in the aftermath of the disaster. Trauma, though not a disease, is widespread. Since many of the islands' hospitals were demolished, makeshift clinics have been established. Doctors in these clinics have been mostly treating broken bones and severe cuts (11.) The shock of the disaster has made many residents unsure of where would be the safest place to rebuild.
In Malakavar 3, around ninety percent of the houses were demolished due
Hundreds of buildings were demolished by the tsunami (1.)
to the repeated rush of the waves. Witnesses report seeing houses being swept away while people were still in them (7) and of seeing the bodies of people floating out in the ocean. Before the earthquake hit, residents say that they noticed the local animals acting strangely. Some Buri villagers who went out in a canoe to fish that morning turned back when they noticed that the ocean currents looked strange (8.)
The earthquake and the ensuing tsunami created long-term effects that are being seen all over the Solomon Islands. Residents of Lengana villa
How the waves propagated to the Solomon Islands (3.)
ge have noticed that the earthquake has caused the land to sink; the water is coming in fifty centimeters below the high tide mark on the village's concrete jetty. Ranongga Island's lush green coastline is now marred with red scars that show where landslides were triggered because of the disaster. Buri village is built around a coral reef. Unfortunately, the earthquake caused the reef to rise up three meters, which has killed the fragile organism. Instead of the beautiful colors of the reef and the variety of fish one used to see, one now sees white corral and the carcasses of many of the beautiful ocean creatures that used to live there (8.)
For this tsunami there was no warning system. The Solomon Islands were so close to the epicenter that by the time people saw the wave coming, there was very little to do but to run to safety as swiftly as possible. Although residents did feel the earthquake there was no way to know for sure that a tsunami was coming since earthquakes occur frequently in that part of the world. However, because of the wide-spread destruction and death, experts are discussing the implementation of a warning system. Some say that such a system would not be that effective in areas that are close to the epicenter of tsunami-causing earthquakes. For such areas, panic would most likely accentuate the effects of a tsunami instead of diminishing them. Others say, however, that a warning system, no matter how close to the area, would be extremely effective in saving lives. Both sides of the debate agree, though, that more tsunami/disaster response education should become available. In addition to this, they also suggest residents relocate and rebuild on safer, higher ground than where they were before (10.)
The death toll is by no means stable and officials expect to see it rise as they uncover more and more damaged areas. With many of the islands' people homeless and without appropriate shelter, the island is faced with the large and daunting task of rebuilding not only structures and the economy but also its morale.

Works Cited
1) Natural Hazards Slide set