18 Mar 2010

Dozens of Solomons homes destroyed by Cyclone Ului

2:43 pm on 18 March 2010

Dozens of houses in the southeast of Solomon Islands have been destroyed by Cyclone Ului.

The National Disaster Management Office says winds of up 60 kilometres an hour are still blowing in the provinces of Guadalcanal and Rennell and Bellona but the cyclone warning has been reduced to a cyclone watch.

A spokesperson Julian Makaa says the winds have demolished 30 houses on the weather coast of Guadalcanal and damaged another 30.

He says 12 houses in the southeast of Star Harbour have also been destroyed.

"And the Central Makira communities they reported two dwelling houses destroyed by strong winds and one landslide which covered food gardens. And also one village on Guadalcanal was inundated by floodwaters."

Juliann Maka'a says reports from Rennell and Bellona say fewer than 20 houses have been destroyed but authorities are still gathering updates.

He says the extreme winds are expected to ease within six to 12 hours as the cyclone moves south.