BY NED GAGAHE
As the country transitions into a wet cyclone season, the Solomon Islands Meteorological Services (SIMS) yesterday warns the public of looming bad weather.
Each year, the tropical cyclone season starts in November and ends in April the subsequent year.
Solomon Islands is prone to tropical cyclones and up to three cyclones are forecasted in a year, even small storms can quickly turn into tropical cyclones bringing with it extreme winds, and torrential rain that can cause flash flooding and destruction.
In April 2020, widespread destruction was caused by the powerful tropical cyclone Harold in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Tonga. In the country, 27 people lost their lives in the Taimareho boat tragedy.
SIMS Chief Forecaster Eddie Maru has reiterated the need to prepare, in an interview with the Island Sun.
Maru stated the impacts of tropical cyclones obviously demonstrate the need to develop better awareness and preparedness in strengthening the resilience of local communities and schools against the devastating impacts of tropical cyclones.
He said the wet and cyclone season starts from November to April the subsequent year.
“Be prepared -Weather Ready,”MARU .
“Understanding the early warning information of any natural hazards and what to do before, during, and after any disaster is very important,” he added.
“Adhere to warnings and listen out to the what–to–do information issued by National Disaster Management Office tailored from the cyclone warning messages issued by SIMS before, during, and after the cyclones.
“Cyclones are extremely dangerous and are associated with which can cause prolonged heavy rain that causes flash flood, landslides, mudslides, and rivers to flood and bursts their banks.
“People living near hill slopes, low lying areas, and near river banks must quickly evacuate to safer grounds to avoid fatalities.
“Associated damaging or extreme winds can damage homes, properties and may cause loss of lives, cut or trim tall trees near homes.
“Storm surges can cause coastal flooding and damage properties, therefore people living near low-lying coastal areas must evacuate to safer grounds.
“Mariners, small boats, and ship owners must adhere to warnings and make good decisions as the seas will be extremely rough and not safe for traveling during the cyclone.”
Meanwhile, Maru and his SIMS team recently concluded a pre-cyclone preparedness awareness in schools and communities in Honiara over the past weeks.
He said the purpose of this program is to inform the schools and communities of the impacts and disasters associated with tropical cyclones as we approach the season.
“It is hoped that through the awareness programs people will be able to better appreciate the impacts of tropical cyclones and make informed decisions when early warning messages are disseminated.
“We believe young students are enthusiastic about spreading the message to their extended families during end year holiday.” Chief Forecaster Maru said.