Concern for 1,300 islanders after hurricane

More than 1,300 people on two remote Pacific islands haven't been heard from since a hurricane swept through the region over the weekend.

More than 1,300 people on two remote Pacific islands haven't been heard from since a hurricane swept through the region over the weekend.

Cyclone Zoe swept over Tikopia and Anuta in the south west Pacific on Sunday.

Winds of up to 220 miles an hour are thought to have battered the remote communities which are part of the Solomon Islands.

Loti Yates, head of the Disaster Management Office in the Solomon Islands capital of Honiara, says there's been no contact since Sunday morning.

He stated: "We are just assuming that those two islands must have been totally devastated."

Mr Yates added: "We are talking about two small islands with a total population of about 1,300 people."

The eye of the category 5 cyclone passed near Tikopia, the most populated of the two islands.

Jeff Callaghan, senior meteorologist at Australia's cyclone warning centre, said: "A category 5 can really level buildings, you can be sure there will be some very serious damage.

"It is the worst possible cyclone, we don't know exactly what the wind speeds were but it can be up to 223 miles an hour."

Mr Callaghan says the disaster management office is ready to send a police patrol boat to the islands although the meteorological service has warned the boat should not leave until Tuesday because of rough seas.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox