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12,000 affected by flooding in Solomon Islands’ capital

12,000 affected by flooding in Solomon Islands’ capital

The Government of the Solomon Islands has declared a State of Emergency for Honiara City and parts of Guadalcanal after several consecutive days of unrelenting rain and flooding.

Ten people have been confirmed dead, 30 are missing and thousands are homeless. The death toll is expected to rise in the coming days.

Four of the communities World Vision works in have been affected (Burns Creek, White River, Lord Howe and Sun Valley); with some 12,000 people in urgent need of shelter, water and food.

“Homes have been destroyed… in some cases, completely swept out to sea,” says the aid agency’s Emergency Response Manager in the Solomon Islands, Lawrence Hillary.

Eleven evacuation centres have been set up at schools and at Honiara's international airport. The domestic terminal is currently underwater.

There are already fears about the spread of disease once the water subsides. "Clean water sources have been contaminated, sanitation facilities destroyed and there is a lack of medicines to treat people who get sick," says Mr Hillary.

A tropical storm alert is still in place for the Western, Malaita, Makira, Central and Guadalcanal provinces. The weather system is slowly moving and intensifying bringing with it yet more heavy rain and coastal flooding.

World Vision’s New Zealand branch has deployed its Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs Manager Dwain Hindriksen to help with the relief effort.

Tomorrow staff will begin distributing packages containing blankets, tarpaulins, hygiene kits, cooking kits, mosquito nets and water containers. It hopes to reach some 3,000 people over the next two days.

Ends

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