SOLOMONS CONSIDER EVACUATING FLOOD-PRONE ATOLLS

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Victims of recent tidal surge in need of relief

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, January 7, 2009) – The National Disaster Management office in Solomon Islands says recent flooding in outlying islands may make it necessary to relocate some people.

About 400 families in the Malaita outer Island of Sikaiana are in dire need of food relief after waves wiped out food gardens.

Also hit have been Lord Howe and Pelau where relief supplies have been delivered.

The Disaster Management Office’s director, Lito Yates, says he’s been working on an assessment report that recommends food and medical help to be made available for the next three months.

He says to move people has to be an option.

"When relocation is mentioned that will be the role of the national Government. This will require a fair bit of consultation amongst various Government ministers at various levels. One recommendation that came out quite clear is that we have to relocate part of this population in order to ease land availability."

Lito Yates says relocation talks need to start this year.

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