16 Jan 2008

Labasa call for dredging amid latest Fiji flood

2:41 pm on 16 January 2008

The mayor of Labasa on Fiji's second island, Vanua Levu, is calling on the interim government to dredge the river whose banks burst after heavy rain.

There has been renewed flooding in the country's north and the Labasa mayor estimates at least 200 people in Labasa town are affected by it.

Homes and food gardens have been damaged, and many roads are closed to traffic.

The Disaster Management Office has opened three evacuation centres and about 50 people are seeking shelter in there.

The town's mayor, Dr Pradeep Singh, says the river has claimed enough possessions.

"The main cause of the flooding had been the river itself, which needs urgent dredging. This is not the fist time it has happened. It has happened twice earlier in a span of just two years."

Dr Pradeep Singh advises residents to keep away from the water, and move to higher ground or seek shelter at an evacuation centre.

More rain is forecast.