The continuous seismic activity experienced on Kadavu Island since Sunday is currently being monitored by the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), Mineral Resource Department (MRD) and the Commissioner Eastern Division (CED) officials through the Provincial Administrator Kadavu.
Following a meeting with the three units yesterday afternoon, Acting Director NDMO Litiana Bainimarama says that safety of villagers and communities nearby is paramount and they will work closely with the MRD to assess the situation on the ground.
For now, NDMO is urging villages and nearby communities to stay away from the landslide area of Mount Washington.
Mineral Resource Department Principal Technical Officer, Mr Sakaraia Vunisa confirms that they have been receiving reports of explosion-like noises and tremor through the media but will have to verify whether it’s happening throughout the island of Kadavu or only within the vicinity of Mt Washington.
“There was a similar event in 1998 where a team was dispatched to Kadavu Island with the NDMO officials” said Vunisa.
“It was a major earthquake with a 6.7 magnitude which happened in Nabukelevu-i-ra where aftershocks lasted for a week” said Mr. Vunisa.
Villages from Nabukelevu-I-Ra were relocated to Vunisea.
Vunisa says that for the Sunday earthquake it is best to get the actual assessment before a way forward is explored.
Meanwhile calls were received yesterday morning from Talaulia and Lomati villages. The Eliki Memorial School management had decided to close the school as they can see dust from the mountain.
Acting Commissioner Eastern, Inoke Tuiwainunu confirms that Provincial Administrator Kadavu and his officials are on the ground advising nearby villages and communities to avoid the land slide areas of Mount Washington and also going out diving until further advise is issued by NDMO upon completion of the assessment.