Press Release 20:22 – Preliminary estimates on Earthquake Damage and Loss

Following a 7.3 magnitude earthquake that struck Guadalcanal Island on the 22nd of November 2022, the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) conducted a quick assessment of affected buildings in the city and estimates the total expected loss to be roughly around $1.85 million for Honiara.

Costs related to physical damage to buildings was estimated at around $0.65 million and foregone sales by businesses approximately $1.2 million.  Loss in productivity was also accounted for in terms of afternoon office closures in the government ministries and disruptions to businesses.

Replacement and reconstruction costs of damaged buildings and infrastructures were not covered in this assessment thus, total damage and loss costs is likely to be higher than the $1.85 million once additional data becomes available.

Against the background of initial damage and loss assessment, the overall short-term and long-term direct impact of the earthquake on the economy is expected to be negligible. In the short-term, the NDMO and some anecdotal evidence confirmed minimal casualties sustained as well as minimal damage to few households. As for businesses, total damage was moderate and related disruptions were temporary for only a few hours.

As a result, the long-term impact will be minor and is expected to have little or no ripple effect on future economic activity. It is important however, that proper assessments be carried out by engineers on affected buildings to ensure their continued safety and stability. Furthermore, perhaps the recent earthquake has provided the authorities the opportunity to relook and reassess our building code and standards, and amend accordingly for such calamities.