19 Jan 2009

Fiji disaster management officials hope to have flooding victims back home within a week

7:03 am on 19 January 2009

Fiji's National Disaster Management Office says it aims to have all those displaced by the flooding back in their homes within a week.

It says the number of people at evacuation centres has now dropped to just under 10-thousand.

The cost of the damage is so far estimated to be nearly 17 million US dollars, and that figure's likely to rise.

The Disaster Management Office's spokesperson, Pajiliai Dobui says many people will spend this week assessing the damage to their homes.

"People are rushing back to see what they can do for their homes, especially to clean them up, to wash them and get it ready for them to move back, especially when the school is starting in a week's time."

The Red Cross says homes in the worst-hit areas will need to be thoroughly cleaned before people can return to them, because of the risk of disease.