Solomon Islands: Dozens missing after ferry defies cyclone warning

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image source, SINDMO / George Baragamu
image captionThe aftermath of Cyclone Harold in the Solomon Islands

Dozens of people are missing and feared dead after a ferry in the Solomon Islands set sail despite warnings not to embark during a cyclone.

The MV Taimareho was travelling on Thursday night from the capital Honiara, on the island of Guadalcanal, to West Are'are, on Malaita island.

The vessel hit choppy seas whipped up by Cyclone Harold. Up to 60 people are reported to have been on board.

Rescue efforts are under way but have been hampered by the bad weather.

Cyclone Harold has brought flooding and run boats aground in the Solomon Islands.

The country's national disaster agency has issued several warnings of landslides and rough seas. Travellers are urged to exercise extreme caution.

Emergency officials there are already on high alert over the threat of the coronavirus.

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