A 5.2 – magnitude earthquake shook the western region of the Solomon Islands on January 28th.
Bishop of Gizo, Bishop Luciano Capelli, said that 63 houses in local villages, built with traditional materials, have been damaged and others will have to be rebuilt. Poor telecommunication infrastructure in the area makes it difficult to quantify the full extent of the damage caused by the earthquake. In Nila (Shortland Islands) the Kindergarten and local water system were completely destroyed. Quakes of such magnitude are common in the region which sits on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire“, a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates.
Bishop Capelli is seeking support for children and families directly affected by the earthquake. In the short run, he said, supplies such as tarpaulins, water purification tablets, buckets, soap, sanitation products, mosquito nets and tents are needed. “The kindness and support of people abroad strengthens and encourages the local people in the face of adversity — and helps to restore a sense of optimism in families as they recover from their losses. Every gift, no matter the size, makes a real difference,” he added.
Donations can be sent to Bishop Capelli via the Salesian Missions Office, P O Box 264, ASCOT VALE, Vic 3032 or telephone (03) 9377 6060. Donations are tax deductiblea
For more information, please visit: www.salesianmissionsaustralia.org.au.