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NDMO to assess Mt. Washington tremors

October 23, 2019 12:40 pm
Dust from Mount Washington [Image source: Kai Nakelo Fiji]

Residents in Kadavu are been urged to continue to stay away from the landslide area of Mount Washington.

This follows the 5.7 magnitude earthquake that struck on Sunday morning with continuous seismic activity been experienced since on Kadavu Island.

The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), Mineral Resource Department (MRD) and the Commissioner Eastern Division (CED) officials are working together through the Provincial Administrator Kadavu.

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Following a meeting yesterday afternoon, Acting Director NDMO Litiana Bainimarama says that the 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, Sakaraia Vunisa confirms that they have been receiving reports of explosion-like noises and tremors through the media but will have to verify whether it’s happening throughout the island of Kadavu or only within the vicinity of Mt Washington.

He says there was a similar event in 1998 where a team was dispatched to Kadavu Island with the NDMO officials after a major earthquake of 6.7 magnitudes occurred, aftershocks lasted about a week after that incident.

Vunisa says as a result villages from Nabukelevu-I-Ra were relocated to Vunisea.

He notes 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 the 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 landslide areas of Mount Washington and diving until further advise is issued by NDMO upon completion of the assessment.

 

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