Solomon Islands – Hundreds Forced to Evacuate as Rivers Overflow

Hundreds of people have been forced to leave their homes in Guadalcanal Province, Solomon Islands, after several rivers overflowed on 05 December, 2017.

Heavy rain has affected the country over the last few days. In a 24 hour period between 04 and 05 December, 97 mm of rain fell in Honiara, the capital city situated on the island of Guadalcanal.

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) said that the Bokokibo, Matepono, Ngalimbiu, Mbalisuna and Mberande rivers in the Guadalcanal plains have all flooded.

An Hundreds of homes and food gardens are thought to have been damaged. Martin Sopage, former Member of Parliament for North Guadalcanal, told SIBC that most people in the area have been affected.

The National Disaster Management Office reported that 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.

Local media said that Tinahula River Bridge which connects Honiara to the Gold Ridge mine site in central Guadalcanal has been completely destroyed. The recently completed Mberande Bridge, built by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and handed over to the government in August, was also partly damaged.

Warnings

Solomon Islands Government Meteorological Service (SIMS) issued severe weather warnings from 04 December. These have since been cancelled, although some rain is expected in Temotu Province, the easternmost province of the Solomon Island, from 06 Decembers. SIMS said:

“Periods of rain and showers with isolated thunderstorms can still be experienced over the Temotu group but will be below warning threshold. However, do not attempt to cross flooding rivers and large streams of unknown depth.”

Flood Summary

Last updated: December 11, 2017
Event
Guadalcanal Province, Solomon Islands, December 2017
Date
December 5, 2017
Type
River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall

Locations

A - Tenaru
B - Mberande

Magnitude

River level
Overflowing
Bokokibo river, Guadalcanal Province - December 5 to December 7, 2017
The Matepono, Ngalimbiu, Mbalisuna and Mberande rivers also overflowed according to Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation
Rainfall level
86.6 mm in 24 hours
Honiara - December 4 to December 5, 2017
Rainfall level
97 mm in 24 hours
Honiara / Henderson - December 4 to December 5, 2017
Rainfall level
51 mm in 24 hours
Munda - December 3 to December 4, 2017

Damages

Evacuated
575 people
Tenaru - December 5 to December 7, 2017
Bridges damaged
2 bridges
December 5 to December 7, 2017
Mberande Bridge damaged, Tinahula River Bridge destroyed

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