April 01, 2012

The Australian: Fiji floods forces 7000 evacuations

NEARLY 7000 people have been displaced in flood-stricken Fiji, with conditions set to worsen.
Two people have died in the floods, which have damaged homes and forced nearly 7000 people into evacuation centres. Fiji officials are considering declaring a state of emergency.
A severe flooding warning remained in place with heavy rain and squally thunderstorms forecast to hit the island group on Sunday, the Fiji Village website reported.
Heavy rain continued in Nadi, which was under about 1.8m of water, with levels still rising.
The town of Ba was similarly inundated.
On Sunday morning there were 6800 evacuees in 56 evacuation centres in Fiji's Western Division, the website reported.
The Rewa River was also rising to dangerous levels, though conditions had eased in Tavua.
Nadi Airport was open to departing flights but all inbound Air Pacific flights had been cancelled on Sunday.
A 20-year-old man died after he was washed away by strong currents in Ba on Saturday.
His death followed that of a 29-year-old father of two who died when his family's van was swept away.
Heavy rains from Wednesday caused rivers to burst their banks in the west of the main island Viti Levu.
Water levels were higher than those experienced during a six-day deluge in January which claimed 11 lives, meteorologists said.

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