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Villagers Forced To Swim Across River

Villagers Forced To Swim Across River
People wade in flooded waters at Navutu Village in Nadroga on February 10,m 2018. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawaqa
February 11
11:53 2018

A bridge in Navutu Village in Nadroga was underwater yesterday forcing people to swim across a heavily flooded river.

The bridge was underwater after the river burst its bank.

Village church lay preacher, Josaia Ratuva said the bridge leading to the village was underwater since morning.

“People have to swim across flooded waters to the village and it’s quite dangerous because of strong currents,” Mr Ratuva said.

“We have no choice but to swim across because this is the only way to get home.”

When the Fiji Sun arrived in the village at around noon yesterday villagers were crossing flooded waters carrying their goods with the water level up to their chest.

Mr Ratuva said for some villagers they would spend the night in other houses across the river waiting for flood waters to recede.

The village consisted of 60 households.

The 51-year-old lay preacher said that the bridge had been underwater for the past few days.

Another villager, Vinaisi Sirivakamudu, 35, said her children weren’t able to attend school after the bridge was underwater

“The only option we have to get to the village is to swim, I had to stop my children from going to school because it’s very risky for children to cross in this situation,” she said.

“Sometimes it takes days for flood waters to recede, every time when there is a heavy rain, the river bank will burst its banks and the bridge is underwater.”

Koro Island update

Heavy rain and strong wind destroyed six tent houses in Koro High School yesterday morning.

Nanise Viribale of Nasau in Koro said they had experienced rain and wind around 3am and then they started experiencing strong wind and rain until 4pm.

Ms Viribale said all officers from Nasau Government Station have been evacuated to Koro High School.

She said evacuation centre includes; Koro High, Nasau Primary and Nasau Church

Edited by Percy Kean

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