12 Feb 2007

Fiji's flood warning extended

7:21 pm on 12 February 2007

The Nadi Weather Centre has warned of more heavy rain tonight in the western, northern and eastern divisions of Fiji after flooding today severely disrupted life in the west.

Nadi town was under one metre of water during the day and the Nadi Back Road bypassing the town was closed.

Domestic flights from Nadi to Suva were reported to be fully booked because of the road closure.

While the rain eased a little during the afternoon, the Nadi Weather Centre says there is still an active rain band over the country.

The Weather Office has urged people throughout the three divisions including Vanua Levu who are threatened by flooding to take precautions and prepare to move to higher ground.

Disaster authorities have set up four evacuation centres in Nadi.

Troops have joined police in providing security in Nadi for the night and in helping people across flooded roads and bridges so they can reach home tonight.

Some rural roads and bridges near Lautoka are under water and closed to traffic, as are several roads and bridges in the Sigatoka Valley.

Landslides have also been reported in the Sigatoka Valley where 173mm of rain was reported in 24 hours and the Sigatoka River was rising.