NO TSUNAMI THREAT
The Solomon Islands Meteorological Service has clarified that there is no Tsunami threat for the country.
The MET Service made the clarification following rumors of a tsunami expected for Honiara.
Photos and videos sighted by SIBC this afternoon saw people rushing uphill towards the Parliament Building, with concerns for safety raised by the public.
Speaking to SIBC News, MET Director David Hiba Hiriasia said what the country might be experiencing now is a Swell event.
“I can confirm that there is no Tsunami warning or threat. There is, however, a swell event which we have issued advisory’s on since last weekend.
“ These are swells which were developed in the Northern Pacific and travelled to the equator, as far as the Solomon Islands. This advisory is mainly for our small islands and low-lying atolls which are more vulnerable to its impacts especially during high tides. ”
Mr. Hiba adds, changes in wave patterns might be experienced in coastal areas around Guadalcanal Province as the swell event continues to move.
Swells are group of waves formed by distant weather systems.
Hiba says, its distance of travel sometimes cause the waves to go up to a few meters, similar to that of a tsunami even during fine weather.
The current Swell Advisory Number Five issued by MET is for low lying islands of Ontong Java Atolls, Dai, Ramos, Sikaiana, Choiseul, Isabel, Malaita, Makira and Temotu.
Mr. Hiriasia, however, encourages those residing along coastal areas to take precautions as swells could be fatal.
“The swells may be risky during high tide as it can cause coastal flooding. It is advisable to not allow children, elderly people and people with special needs to go out at sea because there is possibility of coastal flooding’s during high swells.”
SIBC News understands, the next Swell Advisory will be issued at 4:00pm this afternoon.
By Eliza Kukutu