VANUATU EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE IN MILLIONS

By Johnety Jerette

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (January 4, 2002 - PINA Nius Online)---Damage caused by the strong earthquake that shook Vanuatu this week is likely to cost millions of dollars

The director of the National Disaster Management Office, Job Esau, said the damage appears to be substantial in parts of the main island of Éfaté.

The earthquake destroyed bridges and damaged the main wharf in the capital, Port Vila. It also caused major damage to buildings and goods in the shops.

Food gardens were destroyed and drinking water contaminated by landslides.

So far, there have been no reports of any injuries. But some people have had to be evacuated from their homes. The Vanuatu Red Cross Society has distributed tents to evacuees.

The Tioma Bridge, which is, the main bridge linking north Éfaté with the capital, Port Vila, has been destroyed. The main wharf area is totally cut off.

The earthquake also caused major damage to the two bridges linking the popular Cascade Waterfall and Port Vila

Most of the business firms, shops and government offices closed their doors yesterday as aftershocks continued.

Reports from shop owners show that many goods were damaged and that it will cost them millions of dollars to replace.

The tremor measured 7.3 on the Richter scale. It was located about 50 kilometers (30 miles) off Port Vila.

It lasted less than a minute but the aftershocks, which are also quite violent, still continue.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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