NATION

Floodwaters Force Closure Of Town

Floodwaters caused by heavy rain closed Rakiraki Town yesterday at 4pm. The rain, whipped up by Tropical Depression 04F, began in the Western Division on Friday night and continued yesterday.
18 Dec 2016 12:44
Floodwaters Force Closure Of Town
Qalawa Road in Rakiraki Town yesterday. Photo: Shalveer Singh Aujla

Floodwaters caused by heavy rain closed Rakiraki Town yesterday at 4pm.

The rain, whipped up by Tropical Depression 04F, began in the Western Division on Friday night and continued yesterday.

Floodwaters quickly crept to certain areas around bus station and shops in the afternoon.

As you approach town, the Naqoro Flat, was also under about one foot of water.

Pusp Chandra Naidu, the acting president of the Rakiraki Taxi Association, said the Naqoro Flats would certainly close off the approach to the town if heavy rain continued overnight.

Rakiraki Town Council CEO, Rakesh Chandra, said shop owners closed early because of the rising water.

Yesterday trucks, four wheel drives and a few cars managed to make their way through the flooded Naqoro Flat.

The town was almost deserted with only a few people walking around.

The river running beside the town had broken its banks and the floodwaters were flowing into the town.

Part of the road near the bus station was underwater.

Flood waters were also at the doors of many shops near the bus station and Mr Naidu said this was expected to enter the shops if rains continued.

Qalau Road, on the other side of the bridge, was completely submerged from the town end leading to the cane farms towards the mountains.

Qalani Road, within the town, was also submerged as flood waters from the mountains continued to rush down.

Mr Naidu said Naqoro Flat only needed 14 minutes of heavy rain to flood.

A number of small crossings and bridges in the interior parts of Rakiraki were also closed because of floodwaters.

Divisional Planning Officer West Savenaca Tavaga said his team, made up of personnel from the Police Force and Fiji Military Forces were ready to carry out evacuation should the need arise.

The river also running close to Tavua Town continued to rise.

The Ba River was still low and there was still no sign of it rising late yesterday.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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