By SOLOMON LOFANA
and WILSON SAENI
VILLAGERS of Kwai and Ngongosila islands, east Malaita, have been evacuated to the mainland on Tuesday due to strong winds and high seas that hammered the islands.
They are now taking shelter at Adakoa Rural Training Centre’s church building.
“Strong winds and high seas have started hitting the islands early in the week,” Billy junior Farobo, who arranged the evacuation, told the Solomon Star.
‘So we have to evacuate the villagers to the mainland for their safety,” Farabo added.
Kwai and Ngongosila are two low-lying islands long affected by sea level rise.
Farabo said the islands are no longer safe for the people.
The evacuation came as weather authorities announced yesterday the presence of Cyclone Oma in Temotu Province.
Oma was reportedly moving towards Vanuatu at 5 knots and intensifying.
Weather authorities warned people across the country to take precaution at this time.
Farobo said a number of houses on the islands were damaged.
He added if the bad weather persists, the two islands will be completely destroyed.
“At the moment these people need food, clean drinking water and medication,” he said.
Farabo said the Disaster Management Office in provincial capital Auki has been informed.
Meanwhile, villagers of Lagoe in Baegu/Asifola Constituency are reportedly taking shelter in their church building in fear of the strong winds.
Lagoe chief Paul Sade said the weather turned bad on Tuesday and continued, Wednesday.
He said houses were damaged.
“We experienced strong winds on New Year’s Eve but this one is much stronger,” Sade said.
“Some houses and food gardens were damaged,” he added.
“We’ll wait on the weather to improve before assessing the damages and get everyone to help each other.”
In Honiara, the strong winds have blown down trees and roofs off some houses.