Thousands of people were forced to flee as Tropical Cyclone Freda drenched the Solomon Islands with days of heavy rain.

Rivers rose rapidly, trees were flattened and roofs were ripped from houses as the storm raged over the islands.

The eye of the storm has now edged away from the Solomon Islands, which means that the strongest of the wind has passed, but it’s still raining very heavily from the outer fringes of the storm.

At the centre of the storm, the sustained winds are 185 kph, with gusts of up to 230 kph. This makes the storm the equivalent of a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

The storm is forecast to strengthen marginally, then ease again as it heads towards New Caledonia.

Landfall in New Caledonia is currently forecast for January 4, and by this time the storm should only be a tropical storm in strength. This means that the winds shouldn’t cause too much damage, but the rain and the storm surge are still likely to give large flooding problems.

Source: Al Jazeera