Earthquake: screams could be heard across the community

When the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck in the early hours of December 9 2016, Small Malaita was among areas hard hit by the earthquake.

When the rumbling stopped, screams could be heard across the community, villagers told World Vision’s William Ekotani.

William was part of a team that carried out an assessment and distribution of relief supplies in Small Malaita following the earthquake.

“In southern parts of Small Malaita aftershocks, continued hour after hour, days after the damage. The earthquake damaged clinics, schools and churches and also water supplies,” said William.

Among those William met included Elizabeth, a mother of seven at Roonari Community.

Elizabeth was in her house when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck. She rushed to get out of the house when food cabinet fell and hit her, splitting her lip and breaking a tooth.

She screamed and shouted for help.

“I struggled to push the cabinet away. I managed to get out and ran around like crazy,” Elizabeth said.

“I was very lucky. I was going towards the door of darkness but I thank God for saving my life.”

World Vision with the support of the Government of Australia, and the Provincial Disaster Management office responded to the earthquake with assessment and relief supplies.