10 Sep 2019

Primary school teacher killed in Solomons landslide

3:21 pm on 10 September 2019

The Gizo community in Solomon Islands' Western Province is mourning the death of a woman who was killed in a landslide this morning.

The landslide in Gizo

Photo: RNZPacific/Radikol Teekay

The slip, which happened between 7 and 8 o'clock this morning, buried the primary school teacher and her daughter.

Rescuers worked through torrential rain and strong winds to try and reach the pair but were only able to get the daughter out alive. The teenager is in a stable condition at the Gizo hospital.

The mother was eventually found but she had suffered a blow to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The slip took place at Malakerava and covered part of the living quarters of the Gizo Corrections Services.

The woman was married to the Commandant of Corrections who was also in the house but managed to escape with their two sons. The father has been admitted to hospital for treatment.

Provincial police commander Mathias Lenialu said the slip, which was preceded by a week of torrential rain, was the worst in the island's history.

"We have been experiencing landslides but only they damaged the gardens, food gardens and all these things but not taking away any life.

"But so far this was right happening in the capital of Gizo it is the first time and it is a big loss to the families of Gizo and especially the family of the commandant of correctional services."

The provincial police commander said even while he was at the scene of the tragedy this morning he was getting calls of more landslips and flooding on other nearby islands.

He urged the public to take extra precautions and to move to safer locations if they live close to hillsides or next to rivers and streams.