Initial reports from several Pacific countries suggest tsunami damage has been limited and alerts are gradually being lifted.
Overnight reports had indicated that the incoming tsunami wave could be higher than many low-lying Pacific islands, with the potential to wash right over them.
With thousands of islands to account for, it will be some time before the complete picture is available. However, early information suggests these islands appear to have avoided the worst-case scenario. [...]
In Bougainville, Oxfam water engineer Pauline Komolong said, “We helped to evacuate two families (about 20 people) from the coastal village of Kobuan. Their permanent houses were weakened by the constant pounding of waves, which lasted from 11:30pm last night to 5am this morning.”
New Guinea was not affected by the tsunami triggered by Japan’s massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake last Friday.
The National Disaster Office in Port Moresby yesterday said there was no major disaster reported to their office except that there were instances in areas in the northern part of
the country, especially Manus, West Sepik, East Sepik, New Ireland and parts of East New Britain where unusual high tides were experienced that caused flooding in low-lying areas.
West Sepik Provincial Police Commander Tobby Hamago said “yes there was some panic when the alert was issued for an expected tsunami in the area and people had to flee their homes
to higher grounds, but in the morning things were back to normal, yes there were some high waves but it did not cause any damage,” he said.