Flooding hits Gizo


Mon 24 Feb 2014

Solomon Islands
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HONIARA, Solomon Islands --- Gizo went under water as heavy rain pounded Western, Choiseul and Isabel provinces in Solomon Islands over the weekend.

This came as the Weather office issued “Heavy Rain” warnings for the three provinces.

“A monsoon trough lies over Solomon Islands. Associated cloud and rain are expected to affect the Western, Choiseul and Isabel provinces within the next 24 hours,” the weather office said.

“People living close to rivers, streams and low lying areas are therefore strongly advised to take precautionary measures because of flash flooding or flooding which may pose danger to lives and property.

Motorists are also advised to use extreme caution when travelling in these areas. Do not attempt to cross rivers and large streams of unknown depth.”

Gizo resident Adrian Sina told the Sunday Star a flash flood hit the township after two hours of non-stop rain from 12-midday.

“It has been raining the whole week but the heavy downpour that started around 12-midday brought the flash flood,” Sina said.

“Gizo hotel, school, and a number of shops and offices were badly affected.”

Another resident Brian Beti said it was a hectic moment for the residents.

“The water came rushing from the hill above, bringing with it mud and other debris, leaving them in homes, offices, and on the streets,” Beti said.

“Families have been kept busy the whole afternoon as the flood rush through their homes without warning.

“Some families may be displaced,” he added.

Beti said the rising flood went up as far as the knee, but said no casualties were reported.

“The Gizo sea front is coloured in brown as a result of the flood.

“Hundreds of people stood at the open market to watch when the flood hit the single lane bitumen sealed road no longer visible for a few vehicles slowly making past them.

“This is the worst disaster since the earthquake and tsunami that hit the province in 2006, killing up to 50 people.”

Beti said the weather remained bad yesterday.

Meanwhile, he said at Iriugila village on the northern tip of Vella La Vella also reported flash flooding as a result of torrential rain in the area.

He said the rain was accompanied by strong wind.

Beti said the heavy rain reportedly affected food gardens in various parts of the province.

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