Disaster authorities in the Solomon Islands reported ‘stretched to the limit’ in coping with Cyclone Harold

Dear Editor,

Please consider this letter.

Yours sincerely,

Frank Short

The disaster authorities in the Solomon Islands, already dealing with a Covid-19 State of Public Emergency, have been stretched thin on the ground by Cyclone Harold which continues to spread through the south of the country, having left trail destruction in the capital of Honiara.

The Director of the National Disaster Management Office, Loti Yates, told Radio New Zealand at least two ships had been washed ashore, fallen trees were blocking roads and the power was out in many areas.

Mr Yates said the first priority was to get assessment teams out to affected communities, with initial reports indicating dozens of families had been forced to flee their homes.

He said it was a challenging time for emergency crews.

There is a huge gap in our ability to resource and mobilise teams to the provinces. It is going to be a huge, huge challenge especially logistics to get people out.”

Mr Yates said food and water security and health issues would be key areas to be targeted as assessments were completed.

Earlier the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre reported that dozens of people could be missing at sea after an inter-provincial vessel got caught up in rough seas and windy conditions associated with the cyclone.

Source:  Radio New Zealand.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short