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19 Dead after Solomon Islands Flash Floods, 40 Still Missing

19 Dead after Solomon Islands Flash Floods, 40 Still Missing

Flash floods in the Solomon Islands killed 19 people and left approximately 49,000 homeless in the aftermath. Forty people remain missing reports The Guardian. The Mataniko river in Honiara rose over its banks Thursday, causing houses to be damaged or swept away completely.

The Solomon government declared a state of emergency when the river banks flooded following a tropical storm in the area. Concerns have now shifted to getting survivors accessing clean water, food and shelter. Water treatment facilities were destroyed in the storm.

Water-borne illnesses are another concern for authorities, as evacuation shelters are overpopulated with people displaced by the floods.

Christian relief organization World Vision has responded to the disaster by providing blankets, mosquito nets, tarps, hygiene kits, cooking kits, and containers for water reports Christian Today. So far, 2,000 people have benefited from the organization’s aid and the group will continue to distribute materials to survivors.

Katie Greenwood, country director of the Oxfam organization said that a disaster of this magnitude was "unprecedented" for the location.

"This flash flooding is unlike anything that I've seen previously here in the country," she said.