UN sends disaster team to help Solomon Islands in cyclone's aftermath

3 January 2003

Responding to the extensive damage caused by Cyclone Zoe late last month in the Solomon Islands, the United Nations deployed a disaster assistance and coordination team to that country today.

The two-person team will liaise with national and international agencies responding to the emergency, and assist in determining further requirements for humanitarian assistance to the 1,200 people affected by the cyclone.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has already provided a $10,000 emergency grant to purchase relief supplies and will continue to provide updates on the situation.

The cyclone, a category 5 tropical storm that struck the island nation between 28 and 30 December, caused widespread damage on the islands of Tikopia and Anuta, OCHA said, citing information obtained from Australian surveillance flights. The large majority of trees on the islands have been blown over or shredded, and extensive damage to housing, crops and gardens has also been reported.


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