13 Apr 2004

Ten people now confirmed dead in Fiji floods

7:45 am on 13 April 2004

Ten people are confirmed dead in Fiji and at least ten are missing following Thursday afternoon's flash floods in north eastern Viti Levu.

Six people were in a bus which was pushed into a swirling river by a landslide.

Five bodies have been recovered while a search is continuing for the remaining occupant.

In other instances individuals drowned as they were swept away.

Ten people are missing at sea including a group of five divers and two fishermen from Ba.

There has been widespread destruction of homes, food gardens and crops in villages between Tailevu and Rakiraki with some reports saying people are desperate for food.

The sugar cane crop around Rakiraki has suffered extensive damage and the town itself is covered with silt from receding waters.

The Red Cross began distributing relief supplies in villages immediately, while government disaster officials will meet in Suva today to consider damage assessment reports and plan assistance.