7 Apr 2014

21 confirmed deaths in Solomons from flooding

6:47 am on 7 April 2014

Twenty one people have died and an estimated 52,000 people are affected across the Solomon Islands, after the worst flooding the country has ever seen.

The Government confirms at least eight of the deaths are children under seven years old.

A water and sanitation expert with UNICEF in Solomon Islands says portable toilets or latrines have to be quickly provided at the evacuation centres for flood victims on Guadalcanal.

Donald Burgess says the evacuation centres, mostly schools, are not designed to cater for the up to two thousand people staying in each facility, and they're in a state of chaos due to deteriorating hygiene levels.

"Because people have just moved with what they were wearing, they don't have anything, you know, they don't have any clothes, they don't have soaps at times knowledge about how to manage hygiene in such kinds of situations. So the camps are becoming places of chaos."

Donald Burgess.

Australia and New Zealand have committed a total of over half a million US dollars and a New Zealand Air Force cargo plane will today fly in relief supplies and emergency response staff from Government agencies and aid organisations.

The tropical depression that caused the heavy rain and flooding has now developed into Tropical Cyclone Ita.