WE have been experiencing rain lately and yesterday evening and today it was heavy.
Those are effects of Cyclone Ita which is passing through the Solomon Islands (to the east), and going through the southern part of PNG, before heading towards the northern part of Australia.
We have been told by the media that lives have been lost (23 died as of yesterday) in the Solomons, many more are missing and 9,000 are homeless.
It looks like the islands in PNG’s Milne Bay province, like Rossel and Sudest Islands further south of the mainland, would be affected.
The National reported that Rossel and Sudest are directly in the path of the cyclone.
Weather forecaster Kwekweini Maiwori said Cyclone Ita was rated a Category 3 cyclone.
Photo: It's raining outside ... effects of Cyclone Ita.
On the whole, most of PNG does not experience cyclones, however, during the rainy season (which is also the cyclone period) many people are affected by floods and landslides, while roads and bridges can be swept away.
I was preparing to come to work today (I start after midday) and heard the head teachers from the school nearby announcing over the PA system to students that they should come to school tomorrow (Friday).
In other words, they were also closing up early today. (They usually end classes at 2.00pm.)
That decision was wise because at about 1.00pm the drizzle that was pouring developed into a heavy downpour.
After the downpour slowed down a bit, I came out to the main road at 2.30pm. The road was empty of the students from that school.
Funnily, some children (about 10-15 years old, and without school uniforms) were enjoying the rain as they ran down the sidewalk, joking and laughing.
Another group was doing the same and moving in the opposite direction.
(Children in the remote areas of PNG would be affected by heavy a heavy downpour much more when you think about the streams or rivers they have to cross and the slippery tracks they have to struggle along to get home!)
When I came to the service (gas) station to get on the bus, the place was filled with people, and many were children in school uniform, making their way home – many of them soaked wet from the rain.
It looks like we are heading for a wet weekend.
(Those who are living in the southern part of PNG, Solomon Islands and northern part of Australia, and are reading this, do take care!)
LATE REPORTS: Reports are coming in from other parts of PNG of heavy rainfall being experienced and floods are destroying food crops and roads!