14 Feb 2007

Fresh flooding in Fiji's Sigatoka area

2:58 pm on 14 February 2007

The mayor of Sigatoka in Fiji says there has been new flooding overnight.

Heavy rain and flooding have affected most of the western division in the last few days.

The national disaster management office's director, Joeli Rokovada, says the water has receded in most parts and most roads and bridges are open to traffic again.

But the mayor of Sigatoka, Ratu Isikeli Tasere, says new, overnight flooding caught many residents by surprise.

"I visited Korotoga village, and half of the village was flooded. Most of the houses in the lower lying areas were knee-high deep under water. [Most residents] were surprised when they woke up. Their carpets have been flooded and pots and utensils and things like that."

Ratu Isikeli says the water has damaged food crops and the livelihood of many residents.

There have also been unconfirmed reports of a landslide which has cut off seven villages and a settlement of about 1,000 people.