The National Disaster Management Office has (NDMO) issued an All-Clear statement late yesterday afternoon, advising the public that no further threat exists and it is now safe for people in the affected areas to move around.
“We would like to see those living in evacuation centres or other safe areas, who can safely do so, return to their homes. We will assess their needs from their homes and do all we can to assist them,” the NDMO said in a prepared statement.
The NDMO says the dangerous weather system has now passed, so people can now return to their areas to clean up and do general assessments.
Meanwhile, NDMO Director Loti Yates expressed concerns about the outbreak of diseases that come with overcrowding and lack of clean water and sanitation, such as malaria, dysentery and Dengue fever.
“In addition, 11 of the evacuation centres are school buildings. It is very important that these schools open again as soon as possible, people once more have somewhere to live, and businesses can reopen. We must progressively move towards normalcy as a people,” said Mr Yates.
“Ultimately what we need in Honiara is reconstruction, not rehabilitation, especially taking into consideration how we are going to build the roads, where they will be located, where we allow people to build their homes.”
23 people so far have been confirmed dead as a result of this disaster, a yet-unknown number are still missing, and many have lost their homes.
Mr Yates says that the priority for the NDMO at the moment is still to attend to the needs of the people who have been seriously impacted by the weather events and provide immediate, urgent relief, and ensuring the people who do not have homes to go back to are properly being supported.
Currently there are still around 9,000 people registered in evacuation centres around Honiara.
The NDMO is still coordinating and distributing disaster relief support to evacuation centres on an ongoing basis. It is working in conjunction with the Red Cross, Oxfam, Save the Children, World Vision, the Honiara City Council Emergency Operation Centre and the Internally Displaced Persons welfare cluster.