‘Please we need food, water and shelter, our children are suffering.’
This was the plea made by survivors of the devastating tsunami that struck Temotu province Wednesday this week.
Villagers from three villages in Lord Howe Island (Santa Cruz) namely Bamoi, Bonape, Lunelo have pleaded for immediate assistance as their children are suffering from hunger up on a mountain.
Speaking from a location described as Nabowan Mountain, Angella Lapiki told this paper through mobile phone that they desperately needed help.
“We have been here since we run away from the tsunami and we are scared to go back down because we are still experiencing tremors,” she said.
At the background during this phone interview, toddlers and children were heard crying as a mother was overheard shouting ‘please kam savim mifala, oketa pikinin blo mifala hangere’ (please we need help our children needs water, food, clothes and shelter).
Lapiki said they have used leaves for shelter and are eating coconuts and whatever edible to survive.
“Since our homes, gardens and tanks have been destroyed we are left with nothing but suffering, please we need help,” she said.
The villagers are appealing to the Government and other donors to send supplies immediately.
As of last night, it is understood the death toll has reached 10.Meanwhile, a February 9 report in the Solomon Times Online says the government has officially declared a state of disaster for the Santa Cruz Islands. The official making the announcement, Bradley Tovusia, is the minister for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology—which tells me the Solomon Islands are far ahead of Canada in understanding what's at stake.