5 Feb 2009

Emergency supplies needed in flood-stricken Solomons

10:12 am on 5 February 2009

People in the flood-stricken areas of Guadalcanal and Savo in Solomon Islands are in dire need of clean water, food and emergency shelter.

Heavy rain caused massive flooding, killing nine people and destroying the homes and food gardens of hundreds of others.

The National Disaster Management Office's Director, Loti Yates, says most bridges have been destroyed and relief officials can only access these areas by boat.

"We have in some areas already assessment teams there, who managed to get in by smaller boats. Staff with the Guadalcanal provincial disaster committee people loaded a patrol boat that's working on cargo to go to these affected areas."

Loti Yates says the government is giving 200 000 US dollars worth of relief supplies.

Meanwhile, the Australian government has pledged over 61,000 US dollars in emergency humanitarian assistance to respond to the floods.

Its Defence Cooperation Program is also providing fuel for a patrol boat to transport emergency aid and assessment teams.

And the French Ambassador to Solomon Islands has given clearance for the use of a French Patrol Boat to be used to mobilize and deploy humanitarian relief supplies.