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Tropical Cyclone warning cancelled

Official Statement From Solomon Islands National Disaster Council Chair Dr. Melchoir Mataki

Tropical Cyclone warning cancelled, NDMO looks to progress towards normalcy as a people

Today the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) issued a Flood All-Clear statement.

We have advised no further threat exists and it is now safe for people in the affected areas to move around.

We would like to see those living in evacuation centres or other safe areas, who can safely do so, return to their homes. We will assess their needs from their homes and do all we can to assist them.

We offer our deepest sympathies to those families affected by this tragedy. We appeal to the public and all our partners to help the Solomon Islands recover from this disaster, and reduce the risks of such a disaster happening here again.

The dangerous weather system has now passed, which means those who have had their houses flooded will able to start cleaning them up.

We are facing a lot of constraints in terms of providing sanitation at the evacuation centres, mainly because of lack of water.

Solomon Islands Water Authority advised today that 40% of Honiara was still cut off from the water supply – this includes many of the evacuation centres we have.

NDMO Director Loti Yates yesterday expressed concerns about the outbreak of diseases that come with overcrowding and lack of clean water and sanitation, such as malaria, dysentery and Dengue fever.

In addition, 11 of the evacuation centres are school buildings. It is very important that these schools open again as soon as possible, people once more have somewhere to live, and businesses can reopen.

We must progressively move towards normalcy as a people.

Ultimately what we need in Honiara is reconstruction, not rehabilitation, especially taking into consideration how we are going to build the roads, where they will be located, where we allow people to build their homes.

All risks need to be considered in the future. Making sure all bridges, roads, and buildings meet the requirements and can endure the tropical weather we receive here.

23 people so far have been confirmed dead as a result of this disaster, a yet-unknown number are still missing, and many have lost their homes.

The priority for the NDMO at the moment is still to attend to the needs of the people who have been seriously impacted by the weather events and provide immediate, urgent relief, and ensuring the people who do not have homes to go back to are properly being supported.

Currently there are still around 9,000 people registered in evacuation centres around Honiara.

The NDMO is still coordinating and distributing disaster relief support to evacuation centres on an ongoing basis. It is working in conjunction with the Red Cross, Oxfam, Save the Children, World Vision, the Honiara City Council Emergency Operation Centre and the Internally Displaced Persons welfare cluster.

# ends

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