Geologists from New Zealand based Geologists and Nuclear Sciences, GNS, will in the next six months visit Solomon Islands and five other Pacific countries to collect data in an earthquake study in the region.

A statement from the GNS website says the geologists will collect information on buildings and infrastructure in those countries to measure the vulnerability and risk from earthquakes and cyclones in the southwest Pacific.

The project is part of a joint initiative involving the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank Regional Partnership for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Preparedness.

ADB has contracted GNS Science to carry out the work over the next two years in association with the Pacific Disaster Center and the Fiji-based Pacific Islands Applied Geosciences Commission.

The project will be carried out in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The data collection will start in the Cook Islands this month.

Solomon Islands sits along a volatile seismic strip called the 'Ring of Fire'. Earthquakes occur regularly, two earthquakes occurred in the Western Province, causing huge waves to hit the islands of Tetepare and Rendova on the morning of 4 January causing significant structural damage.