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Tear Fund Prepares for Response as Floods Worsen

Tear Fund Prepares for Response as Floods Worsen in Solomon Islands


5 April 2014 Auckland: TEAR Fund New Zealand is preparing for a humanitarian response as the damage from the floods in Solomon Islands worsens.

The city's main river, the Matanikau, burst its banks in a torrential tropical storm late Thursday, sweeping away riverside communities, bringing down bridges and inundating the downtown area. There has also been widespread infrastructure damage and reports of landslides and flooding on the western and eastern plains of Guadalcanal. The loss of the bridges has prevented officials from getting a look at the scale of destruction in outlying areas where landslides and floods were also reported.

According to the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the death toll officially sits at 17, with 23 more reported missing.

“Our main concern right now is preparing to respond in the most appropriate way,” says TEAR Fund CEO and Chair of New Zealand’s NGO Disaster Relief Forum, Ian McInnes. “We are liaising with the Solomon Islands’ National Disaster Management Office who will advise what aid is needed and where.”
The NDMO will assess the damage to map out the cost but has warned it will be expensive. “Homes were swept away by flash floods, lives were lost, properties damaged but the real extent of the damage is still sketchy,” a spokesman said.

“As the rain abates, assessments can begin,” says Ian. “This flood has directly impacted thousands of families. Aid agencies are scrambling to provide the necessary supplies to 10,000 people in the 14 evacuation centres. Not only have homes and businesses been damaged, but gardens have been destroyed: threatening food supply for the immediate future.”

Local TEAR Fund volunteers are helping co-ordinate relief efforts alongside others as this response to this devastation mobilises. TEAR Fund is taking donations from New Zealanders who would like to assist the Solomon Islands to recover.

To donate, please call 0800 800 777 or go to www.tearfund.org.nz

ENDS

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