13 Jan 2009

Bad weather in Fiji continues to hamper assessment of flood damage

6:55 pm on 13 January 2009

Heavy rain is expected to last until Friday in Fiji where continued bad weather is hampering efforts to assess the damage from devastating flooding since last week.

Fiji's Metservice has put heavy rain and high wind warnings in place across the entire Island group.

The interim Government has been told that the lack of access to areas affected by floods is delaying the damage assessment.

The Fiji Live website reports that most areas in the Central Division are still reported underwater and would remain difficult to assess.

In terms of rehabilitation, Cabinet was informed that priority in the affected parts of Western and Central Divisions was being given to clearing of roads and getting back on stream water and electricity supplies to the affected areas.

The Fiji Times reports that seven more evacuation centres have opened in the western division, bringing the total of centres in the Division to 65 with nearly 5000 evacuees.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Government today donated 30-thousand US dollars to the disaster fund set up by Fiji's interim Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

However initial estimates of the cost of the flooding are as high as 8 million US dollars.