“This is the first ever scenario in the province with disaster related incidents of 12 reported confirmed deaths, suspected murder cases and a missing person”

Central province declares administrative emergency after heavy rains and flood destroyed homes, food gardens in parts of the province including deaths of 12 people.  

Flooded Idu'idu village.

Central Acting Administrator Peter Simbakua, Provincial Disaster Coordinator Tumai Ipou and officials declared an Administrative Emergency, putting all of Central Province’s Administrative Services on Disaster Response Mode.

Simbakua said the administration with National Disaster Coordination Office kept a close disaster watch before the closer of Public Service and Government accounts in 2019.

He said they were focusing n a drought based on the Seasonal Climate Outlook forecast from National Weather Service which predicted the onset of El Nino if rains don’t follow the normal seasonal Monsoonal period which sets in around the last yearly quarter during the months of October to December.

However, disaster struck the province with strong winds which were effects of cyclones in the region that caused heavy rains and floods across the province. All major rivers and tributaries were flooded and banks burst with heavy debris deposits throughout the province.

Camps along Agevairu alone Hiritano Highway in Central province were commuters are been ferried across.
“This is the first ever scenario in the province with disaster related incidents of 12 reported confirmed deaths, 2 suspected murder cases and a missing person”, he said.

Disaster Assessment Teams have been sent to the four Districts of the province to verify all incoming reports with instructions to all District CEO’s to compile respective districts reports and send through by so relief efforts can be administered accordingly to their specific area of relief supply needs.

A team of media personnel accompanied Central Officials traveled to Kairuku/Hiri district this week as far as Agevairu and Iduidu village where an impasse has been created with the bursting of two rivers, the Angabanga and Arua Rivers that caused flooding of the road access affecting commuters.

This resulted in an increase of fees for commuters in general to ferry across flooded areas.  

Meanwhile, the administration is concerned of water borne diseases if the flooding continues following lack of clean water for drinking, cooking and washing.

The Assessment teams are still trying to get into other district to continue assessments so the needs of people affected can be catered for properly.  

By Roderick MANDAU
January 14, 2019