31 Jan 2006

Fiji flood families plead for state assistance

10:48 am on 31 January 2006

Families forced to evacuate by flash floods in Fiji's western and northern division in the last three days are pleading for state assistance to rebuild their lives.

The Fiji Sun reports that families at an evacuation centre in Lautoka are waiting for help after all their belongings were washed away by flood waters.

It quotes Viliame Martin of Vunato as saying he had lost everything to the flood waters on Saturday night.

Other evacuees say they fled their homes with only a few clothes and lost everything else including books for their children who are just starting the new school year.

Water supplies throughout the west have either been disrupted or contaminated by flood waters and health authorities have appealed to people to boil all drinking water.

They have also been asked to wear gum boots when entering flood waters to avoid contracting leptospirosis, a liver disease which is often fatal, and to bury all dead animals.

Meanwhile, a radio report this morning from Vanua Levu said a landslide has closed the only road linking the two main towns of Labasa and Savusavu.