FIJI NEWS

FLOOD HAVOC

By MAIKA BOLATIKI Incessant rain, floodwaters, lightning and thunderstorm caused havoc in the Central Division yesterday. The storm caused a temporary power blackout in Viti Levu, closed roads, schools, swelled
28 Feb 2014 10:57

By MAIKA BOLATIKI

Incessant rain, floodwaters, lightning and thunderstorm caused havoc in the Central Division yesterday.
The storm caused a temporary power blackout in Viti Levu, closed roads, schools, swelled rivers, flooded homes, disrupted business and transportation, and kept workers at home.
Weather forecasters predict the same weather pattern will continue with a possibility that a tropical cyclone will form later today or tomorrow.
The Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, has called on the public to heed the weather warning.
The PM, who was in the West, changed his plan to return to Suva via the Kings Rd because it was closed near Naiborebore in Tailevu by a huge crack in the road. Instead, he travelled to Suva via the Queens Rd. He said the troops were on standby to help people return to their normal lives.
The storm started hitting Suva, Nausori, Lami and other parts of the Central Division last night with strong winds and rain. By early this morning lightning lit up the skies followed by thunder.
The storm closed all schools in the Central Division. They will remain closed until next week, caused serious road surface flooding limiting bus and taxi services, rapidly raised river levels and caused extensive flooding. The Navua, Waimanu, Rewa, Qauia and Narere Rivers broke their banks, flooded several neighbourhood and homes forcing the evacuation of families in Narere, Qauia, Sawani, Waila, Vuci Rd in Nausori, and Wailea settlement in Vatuwaqa, near Suva and Veisari in Lami and Navua, prompted the opening of 14 evacuation centres across the Central and Eastern parts of Viti Levu, closed the Kings Road – 1.8km from Naiborebore Village towards Korovou. The road has a severe crack opened following overnight rain. Geotechnical engineers have assessed and closed this road until a diversion is complete. Lodoni Road, past Natovi, is closed to all traffic due to a landslide and should be cleared today. Princes Road, Waila Flats, is closed to all traffic as the road is under water. Sawani-Serea Road is closed to all traffic as it is under water. Wainadoi has been opened to all traffic but motorists must take extreme caution, Disrupted business. Himmat Lodhia, president of the Fiji Retailers Association, said: “We have certainly lost business. We are particularly concerned about the drainage problems that had affected businesses in the last few days.”

PICTURED: Residents of Qauia settlement, Lami, wade through flood waters yesterday to get to higher ground. Photo: PAULINI RATUILAILAI

Caused heavy rain in the Eastern Division. The Commissioner Eastern, Lieutenant Colonel Netani Rika, confirmed that islands in the division experienced heavy rain and an evacuation centre at Nairai was opened.


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