15 Dec 2009

Power outages, property and crop damage in Fiji after cyclone

1:50 pm on 15 December 2009

The president of Fiji's retailers association says many consumers and businesses experienced power outages in the wake of Cyclone Mick.

The cyclone swept over the Yasawa islands yesterday and the main island of Viti Levu last night.

Himmat Lodhia says many homes on the outskirts of Suva city are still without power today.

He says the category two storm also ruined many food gardens with crops in the interior of Viti Levu devastated.

Mr Lodhia says he's also hearing reports of flood damage to properties near rivers or on the coast.

"Basically there'll be a lot of damage in the farming area, businesses in for instance in Labasa and Savusavu and all that area is back to normal aready and they are running as usual and they already have power running and all that, but power in Viti Levu, I think it's restricted to just certain areas that are now running power."

A Fiji resident living on elevated land above the Rewa River in Nausori in Viti Levu says he fears river levels are rising again following the cyclone.

Dr Lepani Waqatakirewa, who lives in Baulevu near Nausori town, says many farm houses and much land remain underwater after the river burst its banks during the storm.

He says he can only see the roofs of many farm houses located in the valley below and fears the water level is likely to rise again.

From the morning when we woke up, the river was not that high. Now it has really risen. So this is what I'm saying it is probably going to be affected also when there is meant to be a high tide because the river it's back up when we have a high tide.

The police say they are monitoring the rising levels of the Rewa River.