MIL OSI – Source: Earthquake Commission – Tropical cyclone Pam ‘Bigger than Bola’ [Reprinted from Stuff.co.nz] Cyclone Pam has slammed into the Solomon Islands, destroying homes and plantations and forcing people to hide in caves. While Vanuatu prepares for the arrival on Friday night of Pam, the cyclone has already directly hit the remote Solomon islands of Tikopia and the Reef Islands. State owned Solomons Broadcasting says residents of Temotu Province were appealing for “urgent assessment and assistance”. One of the worst affected areas was the remote island of Tikopia. On Thursday Pam’s eye passed over the island and the broadcaster said three people had been injured and several villages evacuated. People are waiting out the cyclone in caves, churches and schools. Two other islands, Duff and Anuta, are completely cut off with no word. Pam has affected a wide area of the Solomons including the heavily populated Malaita Island. Solomons Broadcasting quoted Ezekiel Nodua of Tuwo on Reef Island as saying the wind has been consistent and “very strong”. People’s gardens which provide food and fruit trees have been uprooted and destroyed. Former diplomat Robert Sisilo said buildings had been destroyed.
“But the worst impact has been the inundation of food gardens by flood waters due to continuous heavy rain.”