Nine people have been confirmed dead and hundreds of homes destroyed after a metre-high tsunami hit the Solomon Islands yesterday.
The wave struck the island chain following an 8.0 magnitude quake, 340 km east of Kirakira yesterday afternoon.
World Vision told ONE News this afternoon that about 3500 people have been affected, and 700 homes damaged in the Solomon Islands.
The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) says four schools have been destroyed by the tsunami.
PEZA said water supply to Lata is contaminated and has been cut-off.
It said 13 villages around Lata have been severely affected, and roads to the villages around Lata are covered in debris.
Whole villages have been swept away.
People need to get out Solomon Islands Police Commissioner John Lansley told TV ONE's Breakfast Santa Cruz island is the most badly damaged.
"Many of the homes, sadly, have been swept away and a couple of villages have been completely swept away and that's why we need to get people out there as soon as we can."
Boats carrying medical supplies and response teams will make their way to the island, Lansley said, and work to clear the island's airport runway will get underway today.
"The injury toll is not that clear, we know there are still a number of people missing and we are still trying assess the situation on the ground," he said.
"We do have some contact with Santa Cruz but it is sometimes difficult. We are talking to the hospital there and there have been some casualties in the hospital - the important thing is we get to those people as quickly as we can with supplies, shelter, food and water."
World Vision said it had made an assessment of two coastal communities in the north-east of Lata, and found homes had shifted 5 to 10 metres and 90% had been damaged.
Schools and churches had also been badly damaged or destroyed. Advertisement In the area of Nela, a small village of 200 people, 95% of homes have been washed away, World Vision said.
Dr Andrew Catford from the charity said recovery work will continue today.
"There has been this issue reported of a lot of debris in the water supplies and water containers which has been worked on overnight and today.
"Also there was quite a few animals, pigs and fish and chickens that were killed so there's a job to clean that up to keep things sanitary today," he said.
Community members had spent the night in the local church and school, and work to build shelters will also go ahead today.
Death toll fears
ONE News Pacific Correspondent, Barbara Dreaver, said the death toll could rise as more information is gathered from remote communities.
"One of the fears they have is reports that people have been washed out to sea, we've yet to have that confirmed but we have heard there are quite a few missing people."