One dead, 8 missing after Raquel hits Solomons

8:44 am on 8 July 2015

One person has been confirmed dead and eight people are missing following last week's freak cyclone in Solomon Islands.

no caption

Photo: AFP

The Category One storm swept through the southern part of the country before being downgraded to a tropical depression on Thursday evening. The region was finally given the all-clear on Monday.

The Pacific cyclone season generally ends around April.

One person died in last week's brief storm after they were struck by a tree, and the latest situational report from the National Emergency Operations Centre says at least eight people are missing.

Cameron Vidu, the disaster manager for the Red Cross in Solomon Islands, says more fatalities are possible.

"There's only one confirmed fatality, so that's on the island of Choiseul, and the others that have reported having missing people are mostly from people trying to travel during the bad weather by sea and so there is still no confirmation if they have been found or if they have been confirmed fatalities from this cyclone."

The National Emergency Operations Centre says more than 150 buildings are believed to have been damaged, and thousands of food gardens have been affected across the south, with over 40,000 damaged in the southern region of Malaita alone.

The worst-affected provinces are Western, Choiseul and Malaita, with telecommunications outages hampering contact with Isabel, which is also believed to have been badly affected.

Cameron Vidu says the main priority for the Red Cross is helping those who have lost their homes.

"Looking at the numbers shelter kits would be the immediate need as of this moment and we're still trying to get further information if water would be required so that we can prepare our teams."

Mr Vidu says the full extent of the damage is not yet known and aid agencies hope to take boats out to assess damage when conditions are calmer.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs