Archive for Friday, April 6, 2007

Villagers bury dead; dysentery reported

April 6, 2007

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— Villagers buried their dead where they found them - including two young boys discovered in one shattered community - and the first cases of dysentery were reported today among survivors of the Solomon Islands' earthquake and tsunami.

Susie Chippendale, communications manager for the Red Cross operation, said a small number of dysentery cases had been reported in addition to the diarrhea that has broken out in makeshift camps where at least 2,000 people are living near the hardest-hit town of Gizo.

Frustration was growing among survivors that the relief effort has been chaotic and slow, and officials in the impoverished nation's capital Honiara conceded it was taking longer than expected to crank up to full speed. The reports of dysentery added urgency to the relief efforts.

Chippendale said the aid operation had sped up considerably since Gizo's airport opened Thursday, allowing military transport planes from New Zealand and Australia to land with aid packages of tarps, water and food rations. More supplies arrived in the town of Munda, a three-hour boat ride away.

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