Honiara, Solomon Islands: Landslides and a tsunami unleashed by a major earthquake destroyed some 200 houses on one Solomon island, leaving about one-third of the population homeless, a disaster management official said Tuesday.
Visual assessments from the air showed extensive damage on a remote western island after a 7.2-magnitude temblor struck near the Pacific Solomon Islands on Monday, said disaster management office director Loti Yates.
No injuries have been reported some 30 hours after the biggest in a series of quakes churned a tsunami wave that was up to 10 feet (3 meters) high as it plowed into the coast, officials said.
However, more than 1,000 people have been affected after some 200 houses were destroyed on Rendova, an island some 190 miles (300 kilometers) from the capital Honiara. Only 3,600 people live on Rendova.
Photographs taken from police helicopters Tuesday showed debris lining the foreshore and damaged houses on the coasts of Rendova and Tetepare, as well as deep scars on hills and cliffs caused by landslides.
Residents said past disasters made them better prepared this time.
In April 2007, an 8.1 temblor unleashed a tsunami that killed more than 50 people. A quake-churned tsunami that killed more than 200 on nearby Samoa and Tonga in September was another reminder, locals said.
"People are very sensitive, as a quake conjures up memories and people immediately begin going to higher ground," police commissioner Peter Marshall told reporters.