30 Jan 2006

Flooding in Fiji extends to Northern Division

2:27 pm on 30 January 2006

Flooding has now extended from Fiji's western division to Vanua Levu in the north where three rivers are reported to have burst their banks near Labasa.

Low lying flats as well as some roads and bridges are already under water.

Radio Legend says the Nadi Weather Office has reported very heavy rain in the western towns.

Lautoka recorded 420mm of rain the 48 hours to 9.00am today, Ba had 300mm and Rakiraki and Tavua areas over 200mm.

The director of meteorology, Rajendra Prasad says more heavy rain is expected later today and people should take all precautions for flash floods.

Around Ba town, low lying areas remain flooded and roads and bridges are under water and closed to traffic while others have been washed away.

Many schools in the west were closed today as students were not able to travel while others are being used as evacuation centres.

No fatalities have been reported.

Damage to farms, homes and businesses has been extensive but no estimates are available yet.