Solomons Flood Death Toll Now At 20, 52,000 Affected

Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

30 still missing, at least 7,000 left homeless

By Daniel Namosuaia

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, April 7, 2014) – Confirmed death toll from last week’s flash flood and bad weather has now risen to 20 as of Sunday evening.

Police forensics has reported that 17 deaths are from Honiara, one from the Guadalcanal plains in north west Guadalcanal, another from Kakabona in northeast Guadalcanal and one from Isabel province.

Among the 20 deaths are eight children below the ages of seven years.

Meanwhile the Solomon Islands National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) has reported that 30 people are still missing.

And at least 7,000 people left homeless following the torrential rain and flooding that hit the country last week.

NEOC further reported that 76 houses have so far been damaged from the flash floods, strong winds and landslides and thirteen (13) bridges have also reported damaged.

[PIR editor’s note: Radio New Zealand International reported that "The Solomon Islands government has declared the capital, Honiara and other parts of Guadalcanal province disaster zones after the Mataniko river, which runs through Honiara, bursts its banks following days of torrential rain." International donors are offering assistance as "Australia and New Zealand have committed a total of over half a million US dollars and a New Zealand Air Force cargo plane will today [Monday] fly in relief supplies and emergency response staff from Government agencies and aid organisations.’]

Meanwhile 40,000 people in Guadalcanal and 12,000 in Honiara are estimated to have been affected, with many impacted communities experiencing food shortages.

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