NEWS

High Rainfall Causes Landslides

Rain is expected to ease from today as  Tropical Depression 04F (TD04F) moves slowly on a south-westerly track away from Fiji. High rainfall caused at least 14 landslides, flooding and
18 Dec 2016 10:50
High Rainfall Causes Landslides
The forecast path shown above is the Fiji Meteorological Services’ best estimate of TD04F’s future movement and intensity. There is always some uncertainty associated with forecasting and the grey zone indicates the range of likely tracks.

Rain is expected to ease from today as  Tropical Depression 04F (TD04F) moves slowly on a south-westerly track away from Fiji.

High rainfall caused at least 14 landslides, flooding and road closures in the Central Division.

In the West, Rakiraki town was closed as water level rose after heavy rain pelted the division.

The Fiji Meteorological Service Director, Ravind Kumar, said the chance of TD04F developing into a cyclone was now 5-20 per cent.

“A flood warning remains in force for the low lying areas. The concerns remain of the heavy rain and flooding,” Mr Kumar said.

The Central Division recorded a significant amount of rainfall for the past few days, Mr Kumar added.

Na Draki Weather, reported this past week that some of the highest rainfall was recorded in Navua, more than 200 millimetres, and at Nausori International Airport 237 millimetres.

Mr Kumar said heavy wind warnings remained in force for all land areas and as well as waters of Fiji.

A heavy rain warning also remains in force and people living in low lying areas remain warned of flooding.

Viwa Island, Ono-i-Lau and Rakiraki had  the highest significant wind recorded.

All communities have been advised to be vigilant as flood alerts /warning as well as strong winds warning for both land and waters remain in place.

Assistant Minister for Local Government, Infrastructure and Transport, Vijay Nath, said the families who had experienced landslides beside their homes must evacuate immediately.

“Until the weather gets better, to stay in their relatives or neighbour’s homes for their own safety.

“It is too dangerous to stay near the landslide as you are risking your life and as well as your family’s too,” Mr Nath said.

He said the landslides had occurred after a long drought.

“During, the moisture in the soil loses the water table in the soil increase and this is why the water from the interior comes up to the soil and you will find the cracks in the soil. The water cannot be observed in the soil. And you will find this why the landslides occur.

“The water starts running in one direction and cannot penetrate or travel in the soil because the water table is high.

“Wherever there is a poor drainage the water will be trapped and the landslide will occur,” Mr Nath said.

He urged parents and guardians to monitor the movements of their young ones during the rainy weather.

“I have witnessed children swimming in the flooded rivers and areas which they should not be doing as it is not safe at all,” Mr Nath said.

Edited by Maraia Vula

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