15 have been confirmed dead, 30 missing and at least 7,000 homeless following torrential rain and flooding in the Solomon Islands, according to the Solomon Islands National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC).
Flash flooding, strong winds and landslides has also destroyed at least 76 houses and damaged 13 bridges and other major infrastructure, NEOC confirms.
The current death toll has been confirmed by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force:
• 1 male adult
• 6 female adults
• 6 boys aged below 7 years
• 2 girls aged below 7 years
40,000 people in Guadalcanal and 12,000 in Honiara are estimated to have been affected, with many impacted communities experiencing food shortages.
The destruction comes as a result of a tropical low that moved slowly south-west across Guadalcanal Island from 11am yesterday (4 April). This low had a central pressure of 1002 hectopascals and was relocated approximately 63 nautical miles northwest of Bellona Island and 100 nautical miles south of Guadalcanal Island.
The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and the Solomon Islands Bureau of Meteorology issued a series of severe weather warnings to residents via radio, email and media communications from Tuesday 1 April.
Honiara’s Mataniko River burst its banks on Thursday 3 April, affecting all communities residing along its bank. China Town experienced major flooding.
Honiara City and the whole of Guadalcanal province was declared a disaster area by the Minister responsible for Disaster Risk Management, the Honorable Bradley Tovosia, Friday afternoon, 4 April.
Guadalcanal, Makira, Rennell and Bellona, the Russell Islands, Malaita and the Western Province were given Tropical Disturbance Watch advice at 6pm Friday night.