Cyclone Raquel brings damage and death to Solomons

7:03 pm on 7 July 2015

Over 100 buildings and thousands of food gardens have been damaged or destroyed by Cyclone Raquel, which swept through Solomon Islands last week.

Tropical Cyclone Raquel, south of the equator.

Tropical cyclone Raquel brought gale force winds and heavy rain to Isabel and Western Province. Photo: Metservice

One person was killed after being hit by a falling tree and a further eight people are missing.

The Category One storm swept through the southern part of the country before being downgraded to a tropical depression on Thursday evening.

But initial reports from the National Emergency Operations Centre have said thousands of food gardens have been damaged or destroyed across the south, with over 40,000 damaged in the southern region of Malaita alone.

Cameron Vidu, the disaster manager for the Red Cross in Solomon Islands, said significant damage had been reported across four provinces: Western, Choiseul, Isabel, and Malaita.

"It's usually food gardens that have been washed away from floods and heavy rain, [but] we've also received a significant amount of reports of damage to households," he said.

Mr Vidu said telecommunication network outages in Isabel province meant there was still uncertainty about the extent of damage there.

He said volunteers were in three of the four affected regions, but they had to wait until sea conditions eased before they could reach the outer islands.

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