15 Jan 2009

Fiji expected to ask for outside help to cope with flooding aftermath

2:38 pm on 15 January 2009

Fiji's interim government is expected to make a formal request for outside help as it struggles to deal with devastating flooding.

Australia, New Zealand, the US, China and Tonga have already donated to the relief effort.

The death toll after nearly a week of rain and flooding is 11.

A group of 24 people reported missing at sea yesterday has been found safe and well.

The National Disaster Management says the 122 evacuation centres dealing with the floods now shelter just under 10,000 evacuees.

The Western Division's 74 centres account for most of the evacuees, with 6458 in total, over 2,000 more than the figure two days ago.

47 centres in the Central Division are housing 2658 evacuees while ten centres in the Northern Division are sheltering 675 people.

The main road linking Suva with Lautoka is now open again but the route along the north of Viti Levu is still interrupted.

UNICEF says it has supplied 20,000 US dollars worth of medical, water and sanitation supplies.

The supplies include 1,000 collapsible water containers, 4,800 water purification tablets, 2,000 one-litre packets of oral rehydration salts, and a range of medicines.

Rotary International has handed out 150 emergency supply boxes to people in flood affected Fiji and will fly a further 300 out of Auckland tomorrow morning.