Thousands Affected by Floods in Solomon Islands

Australia Red Cross are reporting that initial assessments suggest that 10,000 people have been affected by flooding and heavy rain in the Solomon Islands, which has caused damage to houses and crops.

Rains have been pouring down on Solomon Islands since the end of June, intensifying in early July as Cyclone Raquel moved towards the country, say the Red Cross. Despite the cyclone being officially downgraded to a tropical disturbance, rains continued to sweep through the country causing damage to houses and crops. In Isabel, Choiseul and Western provinces, homes and buildings have been damaged and roads and access routes are under water.

It is hoped that a break in the heavy rain will allow local Red Cross officials to carry out full assessments.

“Now the rains have finally stopped, emergency Red Cross volunteers are travelling to these communities to fully assess the damage,” said Cameron Vidu, Disaster Risk Manager at Solomon Islands Red Cross.

Wes Tongaka, a member of the Red Cross emergency assessment team, says, “We are particularly worried about damage to people’s houses and to their food gardens because of the heavy rain, and we know that many people are going to need Red Cross support,” he said.

Solomon Islands Red Cross has relief stocks ready, including tarpaulins, shelter kits and hygiene items.

Recent Rainfall Figures

Figures below are from NOAA, showing recent significant rainfall levels in the Solomon Islands for a 24 hour period.

Taro Island – 92 mm on 30 June
Munda – 64.2 mm on 23 June, 89 mm on 03 July and 282 mm on 05 July
Honiara 51 mm on 01 July, 50.8 mm on 05 July
Honiara / Henderson 65.3 mm on 01 July
Santa Cruz – 57.6 mm on 13 July

April 2014 Floods

In April 2014 the Solomon Islands suffered some of the worst floods in the Pacific nation’s history. The floods killed at least 22 people, destroyed homes and properties and severely disrupted the lives of more than 50,000 people – 10 percent of the country’s population – in the capital Honiara and surrounding plains in Guadalcanal Province. One month after the flooding, over 4,000 people were still living in emergency shelters.

Find out more about the work of Australia Red Cross here.

Destruction alongside the Mataniko riverbank in Honiara after flash floods completely devastated more than 250 homes on April 3. More than 50,000 people were affected across the Guadalcanal Province. Photo: Janna Hamilton / New Zealand Red Cross
Destruction alongside the Mataniko riverbank in Honiara after flash floods completely devastated more than 250 homes on April 3. More than 50,000 people were affected across the Guadalcanal Province.
Photo: Janna Hamilton / New Zealand Red Cross