27 Jan 2003

The Island of Renell in Solomon feels effects of Cyclone Beni

8:40 am on 27 January 2003

The Island of Renell in the Renell Bellona Province of Solomon Islands is reported to be fbeing battered by Cyclone Beni.

A spokesperson for the National Disaster council, Brian Beti, says reports by two way radio from the Islands say the wind is picking up.

He says the council is also closely monitoring the situation in Makira and Guadalcanal as both islands are usually affected by strong winds and seas when cyclones hit the Renell and Bellona Province.

He says the weather coast of Makira is already seeing high seas so villagers have moved inland.

The Acting Director of the Meteorology service in Honiara, Chanel Iro, says cyclone Beni is remaining stationary and intensifying.

He said there were earlier indications that it would move away, but it has not moved since Saturday.

East Renell is the largest raised coral atoll in the world and is a world heritage site

Around fifteen hundred people live in the province