There has been an earthquake in the Pacific which has killed people in the Solomom Islands. I heard on the news that there was a tsunami warning for PNG. It did cross my mind to wonder if the Australian, PNG or Nauruan governments had given any thought to the extra responsibility of caring for asylum seekers if a natural disaster should occur on Manus Island in PNG or Nauru.
I was just closing down for the night when this email arrived from asylum seekers on Manus Island.
Red Cross arrived on Manus today.
It was around 1p.m that Salvation army received a fax from Canberra. It was written that tsunami may is coming to manus around 4p.m and you should evacuate the center as soon as possible.
All people were scared. the staffs only took their passports and cellphones. All the families were stressful and scarred. they took some clothe and left by bus. Some of the families went by walk to the topest place. Some of the SAMS didn't left the camp. Most of them were Iranian. Poul moulds stayed with SAMS in detention center.
Some people were crying and kids terrified. They all thought that's the end of their life. There were PNG police around people. They were waiting for Tsunami.
At 3:30 they said that everything is fine and nothing will happen and we are safe! All people went back to detention by walk.
Who is responsible for asylum seekers on manus? What would have happened if tsunami came? 34 kids may died!
Asylum seekers on manus island
Note: Paul Mounds works for the Salvation Army. The SAMS are single men, many of whom are very depressed and have been refusing food at times.
This terrifying incident meant that the asylum seekers were forced to leave the camp. This was their first visit onto the rest of Manus Island since they arrived. Up until now, they have been locked up inside the camp 24 hours a day.
If you want to know how they were feeling before today, read the letters that we published today on New Matilda.