Tropical Cyclone Lola has destroyed or damaged 148 houses out of 198 on the remote Solomon Island of Tikopia, community group says.
Solomon Islands medical doctor and Tikopian community spokesperson based in Honiara Dr Jackson Rakei told RNZ Pacific that food and medical supplies were also in short supply on the island.
“Urgently the people need food supplies and medical supplies, in the case of maybe there happens to be an outbreak of diarrhoea,” Dr Rakei said.
Dr Rakei, who has been involved in previous damage assessments, is this time acting as the communications advisor for the Tikopia/Anuta Disaster Committee.
He is concerned about the livelihoods and health of Tikopians.
A police patrol boat is expected to depart Honiara this Thursday, carrying rice and medical supplies.
But Dr Rakei said it would take three days to arrive.
He has been told the four people who were injured all had minor injuries and are were now recovering after being battered by Lola.
Tikopia was only just recovering from dual cyclones Kevin and Judy earlier this year when Lola came around.
“We are used to cyclones battering us every time, so people know what to do when it comes to cyclones striking,” Dr Rakei said.
Fresh crops had been planted and homes were being rebuilt, but wiped out in this latest cyclone, he said.
He said while his community would have responded well, carrying elderly to safe areas in anticipation of the storm, the race was now on to get food to people left stranded.
There is also concern that Pacific Games preparation that will be held in three weeks’ time will hamper aid efforts.
“There are lots of things happening in the country [including] the Pacific Games, so a lot of attention has gone to that, it’s a national event here.”
Dr Rakei said while government departments were doing their best, he called for international support to assist with the immediate recovery on Tikopia.
“I would like also to reach out to neighbouring countries, if they can support us in any way,” He said.
If you are in Honiara and want to donate you can take food, money and or tools to Fleet Solomons on the western side of Honiara city.
SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS