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 officials through the Provincial Administrator Kadavu.
This is following a meeting with the three units yesterday afternoon.
Acting Director NDMO Litiana Bainimarama said 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 Mount 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 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.
In case of any emergency, the public is advised to refer to the disaster preparedness messages below.
-Stay alert and awake.
– Listen for unusual sounds like trees cracking or boulders knocking together. …
– Move away from the path of a landslide or debris flow as fast as you can.
– Avoid river valleys and low-lying areas.
– If you can’t escape, curl into a tight ball and cover your head with your hands and arms.
If you are inside during an earthquake:
– Drop, cover and hold
– Stay inside, however, be prepared for aftershocks and evacuate if necessary
– Take cover under an internal door frame, table, desk or bed. Stay away from windows, overhead fittings and shelves containing heavy objects.
– If in a high-rise building, stay away from windows and outer walls. Never use the elevator.
– If you are outside, stay in the open and keep clear of buildings, power lines, trees.
– If you are in a vehicle, pull off the road to a clear area and stop the car. Beware of fallen power lines, damaged roads and vehicles.
-Ensure everyone in your community knows the warning signs – an earthquake, a rise or fall of coastal water and a roaring sound as the tsunami rushes towards shore
-Do not stay in coastal and low-lying areas after an earthquake has been felt – move to high ground IMMEDIATELY. If the earthquake occurs close to the coast, you will have very little time to run.
-Coastal communities and schools should plan a safe area on high ground and multiple routes to the safe area
-A tsunami is a series a waves – so stay out of coastal and low-lying areas for at least 3 hours until the waves pass and authorities given all clear to return
-If you are in a boat offshore, do not return to shore – the vessel is safe out in the open ocean.