31 Jan 2006

Fiji's north and west bracing for more heavy rain tonight

9:17 pm on 31 January 2006

Disaster management services have been placed on full alert in Fiji's north and west tonight as flooding continues from heavy rain brought by the weather system generated by Cyclone Jim near New Caledonia.

The director of disaster management, Joeli Rokovada, has told Radio Legend that evacuation centres in the two divisions are in operation.

He says teams of officials are standing by to help people throughout the night if they need assistance.

The heightened preparations follow the upgrading of the flash flood warning by the Nadi Weather Centre.

The centre director, Rajendra Prasad, says a trough of low pressure located to the south of Fiji combined with the effects of Cyclone Jim have led to extremely rapid cloud formation and there is likely to be very heavy rain tonight.

He says everyone should be on alert and monitor the weather in their area.

Flooding has been reported from low-lying areas around Labasa where rural roads and bridges are either under water or washed away.

Some schools did not open today while others closed early because students could not reach them.

The only road linking the two main Vanua Levu towns of Labasa and Savusavu remained closed because of a landslide.

In the west, flooding has continues in parts of Ba where roads and bridges are closed.

In Nadi and Lautoka the situation has eased but disaster officials remain on alert tonight.