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500 homes damaged or destroyed

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Jan. 4, 2010) - Officials in Solomon Islands say there were no casualties but a lot of damage from the 7-point-2 magnitude earthquake that rocked the western part of the island group yesterday.

The epicentre was near the islands of Tetepare and Rendova, 300 kilometres north-west of Honiara.

Julian Makaa, from the country’s Disaster Management Office, says about 500 houses have been damaged or destroyed, and many people have been displaced.

"At the moment they would be absorbed by other villagers maybe because there hasn’t been any help that has got to them. Going by the numbers, we are probably talking of between 300 to 500 people being affected."

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