Floods Inundate Sugar Town

Businesses and the people of Rakiraki Town were without water and electricity from Monday following the floods that hit the sugar town. This problem added to their misery after flood
21 Dec 2016 11:34
Floods Inundate Sugar Town
Firefighters Ajay Nand (left) and Krishneel Nand hose down the Rakiraki Market. Photo: Charles Chambers

Businesses and the people of Rakiraki Town were without water and electricity from Monday following the floods that hit the sugar town.

This problem added to their misery after flood waters caused a major financial loss to businesses.

No shop was spared which were completely inundated with the waters that hit Rakiraki from early Monday morning.

Divisional Planning Officer West Savenaca Tavaga said because there was no power supply, the water pumps at the Qalau Reservoir could not operate.

Businesses and residents who rely on the Water Authority of Fiji had to rely on water from the river running through town to clean up the mess brought about by the floods.

Mr Tavaga said fallen electrical poles in Nabalabala in Ra were the cause for the disruption in power supply.

He said he had spoken with the officer in charge with WAF in Rakiraki and confirmed that trucks were now carting water to their consumers.

“The electricity supply should be back tomorrow (today) and this should get the pumps up and running again,” Mr Tavaga said.

Malake Island resident John Felix said they too had no water.

“We have some wells there but all the water is muddy from the heavy rain,” he said.

Mr Felix said this was something never experienced before on the island as the village was situated on a slope and a number of homes were water logged.

“The water came down from the mountains and made its way through many homes,” he said.

“There is no water there on the island and we are in town and facing the same problem.”

The story around Rakiraki town was the same yesterday – the magnitude of the floods had never been experienced before.

Taxi proprieter Pusp Chandra Naidu said the flood that engulfed Rakiraki town was the first he had seen in his life.

Mr Naidu, who is also the acting president of the Rakiraki Taxi Association, said the heavy rain started at around 3am yesterday morning and was relentless going into mid-morning.

“I turn 67 on December 28, and in all my years I have never seen a flooding like this,” Mr Naidu said.

The town was in clean up mode yesterday as every shop had been hit by flood waters.

No business was carried out in the town area except for a few market vendors who had managed to salvage some of their crops and began selling them.

Vinod Patel’s Home and Leisure Rakiraki Branch Manager Shalendra Sami said all furniture and electrical appliances were damaged in the flood.

“The water came into the shop and spared almost nothing,” Mr Sami said.

“This is the first time I’ve seen this happen in Rakiraki town.”

Islanders Boutique managing director Madhukar Rajan said a lot of items in his shop was destroyed.

He has, within his shop a boutique, DVD outlet and Netcafe and most of the items were destroyed.

Ba Motor Parts manager Roneel Prasad said the flood had brought mud into the shop and they would go through their items, mainly consisting of spare parts to see which ones were damaged.

The market was a mess with mud everywhere and tables strewn around from the force of the flood waters.

Vendor Jonasa Ravula, 69, of Nasau Village in Ra said he had never experienced a flood such as this before.

Matai ni gauna meu raica na luvu va qo (first time I have seen a flood like this),” Mr Ravula said.

The National Fire Authority had begun hosing the market down while a loader was clearing the streets which were full of mud and debris.

Edited Rusiate Mataika




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