BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
A ‘tropical cyclone warning’ has been issued for Solomon Islands.
Solomon Islands Meteorological Service (SIMS) issuing Tropical Cyclone warning ‘number one’ yesterday evening said the special weather bulletin is now upgraded to ‘tropical cyclone warning’, and is current for all provinces in the country.
Having heavy rain warnings issued throughout this week leading up to the Tropical Cyclone warning, people are advised to seriously take precautionary measures as such bad weather has the potential to impact lives and properties.
“At 8pm this evening [yesterday], tropical cyclone Harold (category one) with a central pressure of 997 hectopascals was located near 9.8 degrees latitude south and 156.8 degrees longitude east. This is located approximately 71 nautical miles (132 kilometres) southwest of Rendova Island, Western Province,” issue SIMS.
“Cyclone Harold is moving east south east at 05 knots towards Rennel and Bellona province and strengthening.
“Gale force winds (34 to 47 knots) (63-87 kilometres per hour) with maximum gust of 50-55 knots are expected to affect Western, Guadalcanal, Central, South Malaita, Makira and Rennel Bellona provinces with rough seas and moderate to heavy swells (2.5 – 4.0 metres) and potential coastal flooding.
“Expect winds of 25-33 knots over remaining waters and land areas. Moderate to rough seas with moderate swells.
“Such bad weather may lead to possible landslide and flooding over communities living near hill slopes, close to large rivers, streams and low lying areas.
“Sea travellers are urged to consider safety actions as such heavy rain can reduce visibility.
“Motorists are also advised to use extreme caution when travelling on road. Do not attempt to cross rivers and large streams of unknown depth.
“People should take precautionary measures as such bad weather have the potential to impact lives and properties.
“Please listen to SIBC and all media outlets for further updates.
“The next cyclone warning will be issued at 1:30 am early tomorrow [today] morning.”
It was made known since last year October 2019 by Met Service that the Tropical cyclone (TC) outlook for Solomon Islands between November 2019 and April 2020 is near to normal, meaning at least one to two TCs are expected indicating significant risk of impacts.
In early March this year, heavy wet weather patterns led to deaths, destruction of infrastructure, closure and evacuation of some schools, sequential water cuts in Honiara, soaring prices in the market, flooding and damages to lots of gardens and properties.
Just yesterday experiencing the heavy rain throughout the country, there were again few reports of infrastructures such as bridges being damaged.
BY BARNABAS MANEBONA