Cyclone “Victor” hit Solomon Islands yesterday, with six people dead and buildings damaged in Honiara.Meteorologists at the Nadi Weather Centre named the new cyclone “Victor” at 2 a.m. yesterday. It developed near Nauru and moved quickly southwest across the Pacific towards the Solomon Islands. One hour later, the weather centre contacted the Solomon Islands government warning of the approach of Cyclone Victor. Government officials immediately put emergency plans into operation. They warned all shipping in the area of the cyclone’s approach, broadcasted warnings on the radio, and alerted the police, who in turn sent officers to warn the people.
By 10 a.m., winds in Honiara were blowing over 140 kilometres per hour. At about midday, the centre of the cyclone passed directly over Honiara before tracking into the Coral Sea, and then blew out there.
In Honiara, more than 20 houses were destroyed and a number of other buildings sustained considerable structural damage. More than 100 people are homeless now with six dead. Another 18 people have been treated in hospital for minor injuries.
Mopping-up operations have started in Honiara. The emergency services are still awaiting news from outlying districts but believe that Honiara has been the worst affected. Police say that three men drowned when their car was blown off the road into a river, and death of two women and a man caused by flying debris.