Aftershocks hamper relief in tsunami-hit Solomons

SYDNEY (AP) - Aftershocks are rattling the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, 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 this morning's 6.6-magnitude aftershock damaged roads on the island's main town of Lata, preventing aid workers from reaching people on the coast. Today's tremor was the most significant since the 8.0 quake that sparked a tsunami Wednesday.

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