9 Feb 2009

Death toll from flooding predicted to rise in Solomons

6:29 am on 9 February 2009

It has been confirmed that ten people have been killed by the flooding in Solomon Islands.

At least nine people are still missing, including a Belgian hiker who was tramping in the area.

But authorities fear the number of dead might rise as relief workers reach the hardest hit areas of northwest Guadalcanal and nearby Savo Island.

Continuous rain since December intensified late last week, causing flooding that destroyed houses, gardens and washed away bridges.

Several thousand villagers have been displaced from their homes, while some have been evacuated to the capital Honiara.

Most of the country's Guadalcanal province has been declared a disaster area .