NATION

Low Lying Area? Heed Warnings

  Fijians living in low-lying areas have been advised to take heed of flood warnings and prepare to evacuate to higher grounds well before water levels rise. This advice comes
19 Oct 2018 11:29
Low Lying Area? Heed Warnings
Children at the Naqali bridge in Naitasiri on October 18, 2018. Photo: Sheenam Chandra

 

Fijians living in low-lying areas have been advised to take heed of flood warnings and prepare to evacuate to higher grounds well before water levels rise.

This advice comes after areas such as Waidra, Savu and Koronivia were flooded and roads were closed yesterday.

Fiji Sun caught up with some vil­lagers of Naqali who were strand­ed and unable to cross the flooded road.

Malakai Vokulu, 65, said the Naqa­li flats would frequently get flooded and the effects of this was getting worse every year.

“We have been here waiting for the floodwaters to recede for close to two hours now. This happens eve­ry time when there is heavy rain.”

Born and raised in Naqali, Mr Vokulu is concerned about his farm and livestock which are impacted by the flood waters.

“Most of the villagers here are farmers and this heavy rain brings a lot of loss to the farmers here,” he said.

“Luckily for me, I had managed to get my cattle to high ground early in the morning, so they are un­harmed from the floodwaters.

“However, my rootcrops will be damaged by the flood waters. The crops will start to rot soon after it is affected by the water.”

Another farmer Semitiki Mata from Navolau Village in Naitasiri said there needed to be a back road constructed from Savu village to the bakery junction at Nabukalou.

“The Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) has to take the proposal to the Viria Tikina Council so that there could be a back road constructed for us to cross the road easier during heavy rain season,” said Mr Mata.

The 68-year-old said flooding costs the villagers around $30,000 to $40,000 worth of damage every time.

Close to 8000 people were affected by the flooding at Naqali Flats.

The Fiji Sun team also found school students swimming in the flooded river at Naqali.

The students, who claimed their school was closed during the bad weather, frolicked in the flooded river. Fortunately, they were super­vised by adults nearby who were stranded in the flood waters.

In a statement released yesterday the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) advised parents and teachers to monitor the wherea­bouts of children at all times and to keep them away from flooded drains or waterways.

All parents were advised to cau­tiously assess the weather and to use their own discretion before sending their children to school and ensure proper supervision of their children if they were at home and to keep them away from flooded areas or playing outside.

A general flood alert was issued for small streams and low-lying ar­eas for the whole of Fiji yesterday.

The heavy rain is forecast to con­tinue in the next few days.

It is advisable to prepare and keep a family emergency kit at all times that includes clean drinking water and canned/dried food for three days, a battery powered radio, a torch with spare batteries, medi­cine, essential documents, clothes, and other essentials.

Edited by Epineri Vula

sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

 

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: