17 Mar 2010

Cyclone Ului's winds batter Solomons for fourth day

2:13 pm on 17 March 2010

Cyclone Ului is continuing to batter Rennell and Bellona and Southern Guadalcanal in Solomon Islands.

The cyclone has been near stationary for the past hours about 360 kilometres southwest of Rennell with maximum winds of about 185 kilometres an hour.

Reports of damage to home and crops are emerging, but so far, no one appears to have been injured.

A gale warning remains in force for Rennell and Bellona, and Southern Guadalcanal with winds between about 70 and 90 kilometres an hour, while a strong wind warning is in force for Malaita, Western Russell and Makira.

The metservice director, David Hiriasia, says the winds will affect the provinces for some time.

"Even tough the eye of the centre of the cyclone is in the Coral Sea; we still have the edges that will still affect parts of the country."

David Hiriasia also expects flooding of some coastal areas, rough seas and heavy rain.