28 Jan 2003

Cyclones Beni and Cilla still on the move

7:41 am on 28 January 2003

Cyclone Beni which has been affecting parts of the Solomon Islands is currently moving slowly southwest in the general direction of New Caledonia and Vanuatu after buffeting Rennell and Bellona in Solomon Islands

The Solomons Disaster Management Office remains in radio contact with the two islands and has been told that several houses on the shores of a lake on Rennell have been damaged. There were no reports of casualties but crops on the two islands have suffered heavy damage.

The cyclone has also brought steady downpours and thunderstorms to the southern coast of Guadalcanal province, where the capital Honiara is located, and in Makira province to the east.

Power to some Honiara suburbs has been cut.

Meanwhile, Cyclone Cilla is still heading for Tonga with winds gusting at up to 50 knots.

It is expected to pass through the Ha'apai group of islands later today.