Disaster office determines impact of Guadalcanal floods

A flooded potato garden in Central Guadalcanal

The National Disaster Management Office is conducting an initial situational overview of areas affected by the recent heavy rain and flooding in Central Guadalcanal.

Loti Yates, director of the NDMO, said the situational overview will identify the affected areas and the impact of the floods.

“From Tenaru to Mberande, the major rivers there flooded, broke their banks and inundated a lot of gardening areas,” Mr Yates said.

Teams from Guadalcanal Province also are carrying out a situational overview, and the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development is assessing schools in the area.

Mr Yates said after the information gathering stage, additional assessments will be made before authorities can respond to the findings.

The NDMO has been focused on saving lives by working with police to evacuate people in high-risk areas, he said.

A total of 575 people, including 386 children, were evacuated on Tuesday from the Nazareth Apostolic Centre and Tenaru area in Central Guadalcanal after their homes were flooded.

The evacuees were taken to the Henderson police station and later moved to Marara Community High School in West Guadalcanal. Employees from the NDMO distributed food rations to them around 9 p.m. Tuesday night.

Some evacuees said they had the same wet clothes on their backs for two consecutive nights before a police boat rescued them from the rising floodwaters.

According to police in Guadalcanal, there were no reports of casualties during the evacuation.

Police and the NDMO will continue to monitor the situation, and Mr Yates said evacuees will be able to return to their homes once the weather system moves out and floodwaters recede.

By Fredrick Kusu

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