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Expats raise funds to help Solomons floods victims

By Campbell Cooney and Liam Fox, Monday April 14, 2014 - 21:15 EST
ABC image
The tight-knit Solomons community in Melbourne gets creative to raise money for floods victims. - ABC

A group of expatriates living in Melbourne is raising money to help recovery efforts in Solomon Islands.

The community is small, with only around 50 members, and some are still waiting to hear from loved-ones caught up in the disaster.

The flood, on April 3, killed at least 21 people and washed away homes and bridges in Honiara. At least two people are still missing.

Honorary Consul for Solomon Islands in Victoria, Reg Hodgson, and others hosted a fundraiser in West Footscray on Sunday calling on Solomon Islanders living around Victoria to donate to the recovery effort.

"From all the film that I'm seeing, the damage is extraordinary," Mr Hodgson told the ABC.



"They're such a closely-knit community, they feel so sensitive when their people and their friends have been hurt."

One of the community's leaders, Margaret Tadokata Teovasi, said the expatriate community is keen to help out.

"I received text messages, 'What are we going to do?', 'What can we do, there's people here that want some help out there.'"

Most of the money raised will go towards emergency supplies. The community will use aid organisations they've worked with before to deliver the support.

"People here tend to look at basics. They tend to look at clothing, they tend to look at money, 'Can we send money back to the family so they can buy food,'" Mr Hodgson said.

Community remembers flood victims

The event also gave the expats a chance to remember family members who lost their lives in the flood waters.

Solomon Islands continues to  which has left up to 60,000 people homeless - most without shelter and fresh water.

Major roads throughout Guadalcanal are ruined and bridges have collapsed, making it hard for emergency teams to assess the damage.

On Tuesday, Australia's Foreign Minister .


- ABC

© ABC 2014

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