Solomon Islands: Lack of forest means 9 deaths and a 1000 families homeless

Most of the Solomon Islands’ main province of Guadalcanal has been
declared a disaster area after widespread floods left nine people dead
and more than 1,000 families homeless, officials said Friday. There
are fears the death toll could rise as several people are missing,
including a Belgian national who went trekking in the mountains a day
before the torrential rains began.

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“The Solomon Islands government has declared a state of emergency,”
McCully said in announcing 100,000 NZ dollars (50,330 US) in relief
aid. Villagers in the worst affected areas blamed logging in the
mountains for the tragedy.

“There’s no doubt logging was a major contributing factor to this,” Abraham Bara told the Solomon Star. He said rain water flowed freely into the river, washing away topsoil and vegetation, because there were so few big trees left.

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