BREAKING NEWS

Houses collapse following 6.6 magnitude earthquake

Used to be a high house – the Principal’s resident at the far back (green house), now sits at the ground. School canteen (white painted house) also sits at the ground. Photo: Avita Resly/Facebook

Two houses at Bekabeka Adventist High School in Gatokae Island, Marovo, Western Province have collapsed to the ground with at least half a dozen others partially collapsed following a 6.6 magnitude earthquake that struck close to Marovo this afternoon.  

Principal at Bekabeka Adventist High School Encie Dionie confirms to SIBC News that the two houses are the principal’s residence which she is residing in and the school canteen. She said a majority of staff houses have also partially collapsed. 

A school tank also fell to the ground and broke. 

A house roof on the ground at Kavolavata Village, Gatokae island, Marovo, Western Province. Photo: Avita Resly/Facebook

“The earthquake is swift but strong but if it shook for a little longer, definitely all the houses would crumble to the ground.

Mrs Dionie said currently all the houses are leaning on one side and dangerous for staff to live in because their posts are all rotten.   

She adds, the earthquake was so strong and came as a shock for everybody, they all ran out from their houses and were afraid to walk back into their houses because the houses are leaning on one side.

A Partially collapsed house at Kavolavata

The principal said the girls’ dormitory also has minor damage. 

“The houses are old, they need renovation, we have renovated some but it’s just a battle that we cannot do everything at one time,” the principal told SIBC News in an interview. 

Another teaching staff told SIBC News from Bekabeka High School that around six staff houses have partially collapsed. 

Photographs SIBC News obtained from a local of Kavolavata village, in Gatokae Island, Marovo shows a building roof fell to the ground with two other houses partially collapsed.
 
An Outboard-motor engine also fell and broke.

Partially collapsed building at Kavalavata village. Photo Supplied

The Solomon Islands Meteorological Services (SIMS) had issued a ‘No Tsunami Threat’ statement’ minutes after the earthquake which struck at 1:45pm this afternoon near Latitude 8.9 Degrees South, Longitude 158.4 Degrees East.

SIMS said this is approximately 47 kilometres southeast of Batuna on Vangunu Island, Western province.

“There is no tsunami threat to the Solomon Islands,” it stated.

by Jared Koli

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