Child in critical condition following strong winds

A child remains in critical condition at the Lorengau General Hospital after a tree fell on him during the gusty winds and rain that hit M’Buke Island, along the south coast of Manus.

Five others also suffered injuries as a result of houses collapsing from the impact of the wind.

Close to 40 permanent houses were damaged; some had their roofs blown off by winds described by locals as cyclone.

12 extended kitchen houses were blown down including four outhouses (toilets).

A care centre has been set up at the Community Hall for those families affected.

Clans in the village have organised themselves to cater for those affected while relatives in Port Moresby and other parts of the country have commenced organising disaster relief supplies.

Classes at the local primary school on the islands have been suspended as of today for an indefinite period.

Head teacher of M’Buke Primary School, Gerard Michael, told this newsroom roofs of two classrooms were partly damaged while 53 of his students are affected after their homes were damaged.

The school’s two outhouses were blown off and five teachers’ house also damaged.

The school has a total population of 124 students.

Manus Police travelled to the island from Lorengau on Sunday.

The provincial disaster team is expected to arrive today to assess damages.

The strong winds that are yet to be categorised by authorities occurred around lunch time on Saturday.

Strong winds have ceased since Saturday.

(Picture credit: Zhermpee Twain)

Sally Pokiton