Page last updated at 10:35 GMT, Tuesday, 3 April 2007 11:35 UK

Eyewitness: Solomon Islands tsunami

Arnold Pidakere, a resident of Gizo who on Monday spoke of how he and his family fled the earthquake and tsunami which hit the Solomon Islands, describes how survivors have been coping.


Tsunami aftermath in Noro
This picture of a flooded house was taken by Isobel Sarcich

We spent last night in the open. We are still gathered on the hill top. There were a few earthquakes overnight, but they weren't strong.

We received some aid. Two patrol boats brought us some food, water and medicines. We also have tents now, but they are not enough for everyone.

I fear that what we got is not enough. We still need more drinking water. And we need medical supplies as our hospital is destroyed.

We, fathers, can do without tent and food, so that the children and women have enough.

It is very overcrowded. There are many of us here: people are afraid to leave the higher grounds.

We are scared and our nerves are stretched. You can tell the children are tired - they cry and scream almost constantly.

We don't know if there's more to come, so for the time being we stay here. And anyway, there is no place to go.

We can't go home as our homes are destroyed. We can only wait for the government to help us.


Tsunami aftermath in Noro
This picture of the coastal area of Noro was taken by Isobel Sarcich
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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