30 Sep 2005

Fiji flood victims cite looting fear and refuse to evacuate

10:16 am on 30 September 2005

Some people in Fiji whose lives were threatened when their homes were flooded yesterday refused to evacuate because of the fear of looting.

They were mostly very poor people living in squatter settlements in the Suva-Nausori corridor and around Navua.

Hundreds of other people were stranded overnight as they could not return to their homes because of flooded bridges and damaged roads.

The floods claimed one life when a 20-year old youth who was trapped in a flooded culvert in the Suva suburb of Domain.

At least half a dozen schools were declared evacuation centres for people whose homes were flooded.

Disaster officials asked people moving to evacuation centres last night to bring their own food until the state could make some arrangements.

Meanwhile, police have started a search for four people missing in heavy seas in the Mamanuca Group off the coast of Nadi.