Six people were killed and 18 injured when a tropical cyclone hit the Solomon Islands yesterday.
Cyclone “Victor” blew directly into the capital Honiara at midday, destroying 20 houses and leaving more than 100 people homeless.
Passing Honiara, the cyclone then tracked harmlessly out into the Coral Sea.
As clean-up operations began, emergency services were still awaiting contact from outlying districts, but believe Honiara to have been the worst affected.
Of the six people who died in the cyclone, three drowned when their car was blown off-road into a river. The other three were killed by flying debris.
Meteorologists at the Nadi Weather Centre in neighbouring Fiji detected the cyclone at 2am and warned the Solomon Islands government soon after.
Government officials immediately put emergency plans into operation, broadcasting a warning on the radio and sending police officers out to warn people door-to-door.
All ships in the area were also alerted of the cyclone’s approach.