15 Apr 2004

Flood warning extended to all of Fiji

8:59 am on 15 April 2004

The Fiji Weather Office has extended its flash flood warning to the entire country including the northern division and outer islands.

Radio Legend says this follows very heavy rain of up to 100 millimetres an hour in some areas, including the smaller islands.

The director of meteorology, Rajendra Prasad, says rivers are rising and all people should take precautions.

Mariners have been told not to put to sea because of strong winds and poor visibility.

The capital Suva and southern Viti Levu is virutally cut off from the country's economic heartland in the west.

This was after the Queen's Highway in and around the Navua flats came under one metre of water during the night and had to be closed to all traffic.

The Navua river is rising and hospital staff have been put on alert to evacuate all patients if necessary.

To the east, the Kings Highway, which was blocked by 17 landslides a week ago and damaged by flooding, will be closed for several days from today for repairs to damaged bridges.

Renewed flooding has been reported from parts of Rakiraki which were already devastated last week.

Meanwhile, more heavy rain has been reported from the Ra and Tailevu provinces and many roads and bridges are under water and closed to traffic.

About a hundred people were forced to abandon their homes last night and join several hundred others who have been sheltering in evacuation centres since last week's floods destroyed their homes.