Following the 8.0 earthquake and tsunami in Solomon Islands on Wednesday, WSPA teams in the region have been on high alert and ready to help stray and injured animals.
As a result, WSPA has now deployed two members of its Disaster Response Team to Santa Cruz Islands in southern Solomon Islands, to determine how the disaster has affected local animal populations and what response is required.
Animals are often the forgotten victims of disasters, but they too suffer the immediate dangers and terrible aftermaths of unexpected and violent events.
Saving animals has a crucial second benefit: it protects the damaged communities that they are such a vital a part of, ensuring that people have a solid foundation from which to rebuild their health and livelihoods.
NZ team member on the ground
WSPA’s Disaster Team Leader Steven Clegg, is accompanied by Kiwi - Ritchie Dawson - Chief Inspector at the Wellington, New Zealand SPCA and member of the National Animal Welfare Emergency Management Advisory Group (NAWEM) of which WSPA is a co-chair.
Ritchie Dawson has also been WSPA trained in emergency response and brings specialised expertise following his work in the aftermath of the Canterbury Earthquake.
Updates as they come
Ritchie Dawson is working closely with the Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office and will be working from the site of the worst-hit islands.
We will keep you posted on any updates here and on our dedicated disaster blog, as they come to hand: http://animalsindisasters.typepad.com/