5 Apr 2014

Solomons capital declared a disaster zone by Govt

11:47 am on 5 April 2014

The Solomon Islands government has declared the capital, Honiara and other parts of Guadalcanal province disaster zones after the Mataniko river, which runs through Honiara, bursts its banks following days of torrential rain.

At least 9 people have died and dozens more are missing after hundreds of homes were swept away in the flooding.

The Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo, told SIBC the declaration will authorise the National Disaster Council to activate relevant processes to deal with the current situation in the country.

He says he will be convening Cabinet shortly to be able to authorize appropriate resources be accorded to the Council to help out with the response effort.

Our correspondent in Solomon Islands says police are restricting movements in the capital following fears the second bridge over the Mataniko river could collapse.

And overnight Solomon Islands was rocked by a strong earthquake in the midst of devastating flooding.

The magnitude 6 quake struck 28 kilometres southwest of the town of Kirakira on the eastern island of San Cristobal.

There have been no reports of any damage.