Wednesday, 4 February 2009 9:53 AM

Flood Missing Persons Toll Rise

A person of Asian origin is the latest to be reported missing as flooding continues throughout parts of Guadalcanal.

The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) reports that the Asian person was claimed as missing while trying to cross a flooding Poha river yesterday morning.

It added that the Central Islands Provincial Disaster Committee also reported an unconfirmed missing person on Savo Island, bringing the total number of missing people to 13.

In northwest Guadalcanal, 11 persons were already reported missing on Monday.

Relief supplies are being distributed to affected communities in west and northwest Guadalcanal.

NDMO reports that Patrol Boat Lata left with supplies yesterday.

Continuing bad weather and damaged bridges from Tamboko to Kohimarama in west Guadalcanal hampers keen efforts to speed up distribution of relief supplies to affected areas.

Organisers said while the delay is regrettable, "[we] cannot risk the lives of ... staff who will be distributing because of the ongoing bad weather".

The statement also said reports have also been received from Longgu past Aola and Guadalcanal Plains as well as northeast Guadalcanal.