21 Apr 2005

Second flood death reported in Fiji

1:38 pm on 21 April 2005

This week's floods in Fiji have claimed a second life.

Radio Fiji reports that a 17-year old high school student drowned as the bamboo raft he was travelling on capsized in a river in Rakiraki yesterday.

Villagers recovered his body today.

The first flood victim, an employee of the Public Works Department, was swept away by strong currents as he tried to cross a flooded bridge, also in Rakiraki, on Tuesday.

While rain has eased, many rural roads and bridges remain closed because of flood waters or landslides.

Most of these are within 50km of Suva.

Disaster management officials are making an assessment of damage.

Earlier estimates said damage was substantial, particularly in sugar cane fields, commercial farms and village food gardens.