NEWS

Major Services Close In Rakiraki, Tavua

Schools and businesses in Rakiraki and Tavua closed yesterday because of rising floodwaters caused by heavy rain. The rain is linked Tropical Depression 09F. The schools closed following advice from
07 Feb 2017 10:59
Major Services Close In Rakiraki, Tavua
The junction that leads to Nadi Back Road and main Street, Nadi was also flooded yesterday. Photo: Litia Tikomailepanoni.

Schools and businesses in Rakiraki and Tavua closed yesterday because of rising floodwaters caused by heavy rain.

The rain is linked Tropical Depression 09F.

The schools closed following advice from the Commissioner Western, Manasa Tagicakibau.

Rakiraki Town was closed off as Korotale Road on Naqoro Flats was once again under nearly three feet of water when the Fiji Sun team visited the area yesterday.

Minister for Education Mahendra Reddy was urging parents to use their judgement to decide whether they should send their children to school or not today if bad weather persisted.

“It is advisable for children from flood prone areas to remain at home until such time the weather clears,” Mr Reddy said.

“We also urge parents to keep their children indoors in these challenging weather conditions and take extra precaution.”

Members of the public are urged to be cautious of flooding in most areas, says the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO).

The flooding experienced in some parts of the Western Division yesterday, brought about by the tropical depression. Rakiraki Town, Tavua and Nadi Town experienced flash flooding.

The NDMO is advising the public to be cautious and restrict any movement in flood-affected areas.

The caution targets Fijians living in flood prone and low-lying areas. Residents in flood-prone areas are urged to monitor the weather situation and prepare for an evacuation to higher ground should water levels continue to rise.

According to the weather report at 11pm yesterday, heavy rain warning remains in force for the entire Fiji group. Tropical Disturbance 09F (TD09F) is slow moving West-Southwest of the Fiji Group and is expected to bring widespread heavy rain and flooding.

The public are also urged to secure their homes, properties, and businesses.

 

Evacuation centres

Mr Tagicakibau said three evacuation centres – the Rakiraki Muslim Primary School, Tavua District School and Toko Primary School – were open for people who wanted to take shelter.

“I am asking everyone in Tavua and Rakiraki to please take shelter in these schools if they feel they would be affected by flood waters,” Mr Tagicakibau said.

The Disaster Management Committee (DISMAC) has been activated in Rakiraki, Tavua, Ba, Lautoka and Nadi, and being manned at present by a skeleton crew made up of civil servants.

“In Rakiraki I have been told that bus services were starting to normalise by yesterday afternoon,” he said.

In Rakiraki and Tavua, Mr Tagicakibau said the other problem they faced were the rains up in the mountain, which were sending a lot of water down to the low-lying areas, including the towns.

“This could affect these places if rain up in the hills continue,” he said.

 

Villages relocate livestock, belongings

Villagers from Nabuna and Vanuakula in Tavua began taking safety measures yesterday morning by moving their livestock and personal belongings to high ground.

The Fiji Sun team saw a number of villagers on the Yaladro Flats along the Kings Highway taking their livestock to Korovou Village. Both villages were flooded.

Benji Naqase of Vanuakula Village said floodwaters had sealed off the area and he was taking his horses to shelter at Korovou Village. Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

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