Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Monday, 2 April 2007 15:08 UK

Eyewitness: Solomon Islands tsunami

Gizo hospital before the tsunami - photo from Solomon Islands government
Gizo's hospital was inundated and damaged beyond use

A tsunami has hit the Solomon Islands after a strong undersea earthquake, with at least 12 people reported dead.

Here, Arnold Pidakere, resident of Gizo, describes how he fled from the deadly waves that destroyed his house.

I was woken up this morning by the earthquake and soon afterwards I could hear the blow of the waves.

I took my wife and two daughters and ran out of the house. We ran for our lives, away from the waves.

When we looked back, we saw our house being destroyed. Many buildings in the low-lying areas near the coast are washed away.

Now we are gathered at the hill top. There are several hundred of us. Everyone has moved to higher ground.

We are really scared and we don't know what's to come
There is a lodge here, but it is very small - it has six rooms and it can't house all of us. So we are going to spend the night in the open.

There are buildings on the hills that were damaged by the earthquake.

I know of a 10-year-old child who died. Children are missing and there are injured people. One woman here got injured as her house was being destroyed by the waves.

We have no medical assistance. We haven't received any help at all.

Our most urgent need is for water. We have no water at all. The water tanks have collapsed.

Then we need food. For now we sit outside and wait for the danger to go away and for help to reach us.

We are really scared. We don't know what's to come. We have seen these kind of things happening to other people on our TV screens. We thought we were safe but now it has happened to us, too.

video and audio news
BBC correspondent on the devastation caused

Tsunami strikes Solomon Islands
02 Apr 07 |  Asia-Pacific
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