15 Mar 2010

Cyclone warning remains for Solomons' Rennell/Bellona but damage low

6:57 pm on 15 March 2010

A cyclone warning is still current for the Solomon Islands of Rennell and Bellona but Cyclone Ului, which remains a category four system, is continuing to move into open waters to the west.

At its centre it has winds gusting at over 200 kilometres an hour, but Rennell and Bellona did not experience the full force of the storm as had been expected.

The National Disaster Management Office's spokesman Julian Maka'a, says initial reports show more than 10 houses on Rennell have been destroyed or damaged, while the number of houses damaged on Bellona is still to be confirmed.

He says the houses were mainly semi-permanent.

"Meaning some parts are permanent and maybe the roof is made of traditional materials so those are the houses that have mainly been affected but otherwise the majority of houses are still OK."

Julian Maka'a says a full damage assessment will not be possible unitl the weather clears.

He says some houses and gardens on the Weather Coast of Guadalcanal have been washed away but there're no reports of death or injury from any of the provinces.