Published February 08, 2013
An earthquake with a preliminary 7.1 magnitude struck off the Solomon Islands Friday as aftershocks continue to rattle the region after Wednesday's 8.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami.
The continued jolts are preventing relief workers from reaching villages where at least nine people were killed.
The nation's prime minister was on a plane to Santa Cruz Island in the eastern Solomons today to assess the damage when a strong aftershock hit. The plane returned to the capital.
An official with the relief agency World Vision says the plane made a second attempt to reach the island later today without the prime minister, but with shelter kits, water carriers, medical supplies and medical staff. It landed safely.
Officials say a 6.6-magnitude aftershock damaged roads on the island's main town of Lata, preventing aid workers from reaching people on the coast.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.