16 Mar 2010

Once weather clears, Solomons plane off to Rennell and Bellona

4:09 pm on 16 March 2010

The Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office says a plane will be sent to the worst hit province of Rennell and Bellona as soon as the weather improves.

Early reports from there say up to ten homes have been destroyed and up to another 20 have suffered some sort of damaged.

A spokesperson for the office, Julian Makaa, says Rennell and Bellona will be the priority as crops have been severely damaged.

But he says apart from the eastern most province of Temotu, most other areas are being hit by strong gusts and big waves.

Mr Makaa says they are still trying to get in touch with some other hard hit areas:

"We haven't actually heard a lot from Makira southern coast because that has been one of the most affected areas along with Guadalcanal weathercoast because the bad weather is also affecting the reception of HF radio and it is pretty difficult to get reports at the moment."

The province of Isabel has reported a landslide which has destroyed food gardens and water supplies have been affected.

Also in Isabel, storm surges have washed away timber stored near the coast waiting for export.

Mr Makaa says the shoreline in Honiara is being pounded by big waves.

He says the continuing rain means the larger islands are likely to suffer flooded rives, along with coastal storm surges.