After the harrowing events of last week, some Solomon Islanders felt as if they were reliving the nightmare once again yesterday.
It happened on Gavutu, an islet in the Central Province. Nathaniel Sogovare, a local troublemaker, ran inside First National Bank of the Solomon Islands and yelled, "Tsunami!!!" Hysteria quickly engulfed the premises.
Teller Benny Waeena dropped the money he was counting, bank manager Allan Rini left his phone dangling, and the two employees, along with their five customers, ran outside towards the hill overlooking downtown Gavutu. All had learned from previous community Red Cross trainings to head for higher ground when a tsunami alarm sounded.
But petty thief Sogvare's announcement was just a ploy to empty the bank of workers, as he quickly cleaned out the teller box and loaded his thatched bag with thirty-seven dollars.
Six hours later, Martee Rini, the wife of the bank president, found her husband and what was now over ninety other Gavutuans sitting on the side of the hill.
Mr. Rini tried to explain to her what happened but she was in no mood to listen as the supper she had prepared was getting cold.
As for bank robber Sogovare, he was quickly apprehended. The police chief said they were fortunate that an informant came forward, and that the island of Gavutu is only 550 yards in length.