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Flash flooding kills 14 on South Pacific island

Solomon Islands South Pacific

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (AP) - Flash floods in the Solomon Islands have killed 14 people and left thousands more homeless, authorities said Saturday.

The death toll could rise further, with many people listed as missing, said government spokesman George Herming. As many as 15,000 people have had their homes destroyed or made uninhabitable, he said.

The South Pacific island nation is home to 600,000 people.

There were several days of rain before the Mataniko River in the capital, Honiara, burst its banks Thursday and flooded low-lying settlements alongside the river.

The flooding continued through Friday, and waters began to gradually recede Saturday, Herming said.

New Zealand's government has pledged 300,000 New Zealand dollars ($258,000) to the relief effort.

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