Friday, 4 January 2008 5:30 PM

Heavy Rain Badly Affects Guadalcanal Plains

The continuous rains in the past three days have reportedly caused heavy flooding in the Guadalcanal Plains.

Provincial member, Stephen Panga, and National Parliament member for the areas, Martin Sopage, told the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) today that the floods have inundated villages, food gardens and all road accesses.

The two leaders have called for an urgent assessment of the areas and food relief for affected communities.

Food gardens are under water and will rot in the coming days, the two leaders informed NDMO.

Both leaders also claim that because of high waters, Tetere Police cannot move around to assess communities.

Hon. Panga and Hon. Sopage say they have sought support from the National Disaster Council but are yet to be assured of anything positive at this stage.

Director of the National Management Office, Loti Yates, has informed them that a meeting was held with Disaster Management stakeholders this afternoon and it's been agreed that a rapid assessment team will be deployed tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Mr. Yates told the two leaders that affected communities have been advised to go to their respective authorities first so they can assess their situations before coming to the NDMO.

"That is the procedure but it does not mean that [my] office and Disaster Management partners will not do anything," Mr. Yates told the leaders.

The situation is being closely monitored and a rapid assessment team will be deployed as soon as the opportunity presents itself.