10 Jan 2011

Fiji man believed drowned in flooding

2:36 pm on 10 January 2011

Police in Fiji say a man is believed to be dead after trying to cross the Nadi river during the height of heavy rain over the weekend.

Police spokesman Atunaisa Sokomuri says the 48-year-old man was trying to cross the river with several people on Saturday when he is believed to have been swept away and drowned.

Inspector Sokomuri said villagers last saw the victim going into the river.

He says a search was conducted but there is still no sign of the man.

Several cars were also washed away as the heavy rainfall continued, with parts of Ba town flooded.

Flooding in the north west part of Viti Levu has also affected many sugar cane farms in low lying areas.

Floods of up to half a metre high affected rural parts of Tavua, Ba, and Rakiraki.

The Chief Executive of Tavua Town Council Jasuman Khan says the flooding is a major blow for affected farms.

"Well we feel sorry for the farmers, because most of them, even though they've planted cane for next year, unless the water resides the cane will get rotten."

Fiji's Meteorological Service is warning people to expect further flooding in the coming days due to a slow moving trough of low pressure.