27 Dec 2002

Solomon Islands Emergency services maybe unable to help cyclone victims

5:37 pm on 27 December 2002

The Solmon Islands Emergency and Disaster Management Office says it has no money and may not be able to help those affected by Cyclone Zoe.

Its director, Lottie Yates says his office as well as the Meterological Service are broke and are limited in the kind of aid and information they can provide.

While Vanuatu is the prime target, Cyclone Zoe is forecast to strike part of the Santa Cruz group, South of Solomon Islands at midnight Saturday with gustly winds of up to 260 kilometers per hour.

Santa Cruz is home to some 1200 people

Mr Yates says that getting cyclone information is difficult due to lack of funds and that people's lives may be at risk.

"The most important thing for the Met Service and the National Disaster Management Office is to get those informations in and to get those information is at the moment is almost impossible. Both the two departments are virtually handicapped with no support at all from the Government. They basically continue paying our salaries but they don't provide the necessary backup support that we require to do our work."

Lottie Yates