23 Jan 2012

Evacuation centres open in Fiji's rain-hit Western Division

8:02 pm on 23 January 2012

At least a thousand people in Fiji's western division are reported to have been evacuated as heavy rain continues to flood low lying areas.

Police have advised people to refrain from non-essential travel, especially in Fiji's west where the Nadi River is under strain.

Our correspondent Ricardo Morris reports.

"The main concern now is in Nadi where they are expecting a high tide tonight and they are expecting water levels in the town to rise overnight. So a curfew will come into force. About a thousand people have been displaced and have been moved to four evacuation centres in action in the Western Division at the moment."

Meanwhile, Fiji police are urging parents to supervise their children at all times, as heavy rain continues to fall throughout the country on the first day of the new school year.

There has been flooding in low-lying areas in both the north and south.

One man was earlier reported missing after being swept away by strong currents while crossing a swollen river in the Northern District on Sunday.

Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri says parents must be vigilant.

We are very concerned for the safety of the people, especially the children. We will be commencing with the new school year of 2012 so we have been advising parents to properly supervise their children because we know that here in Fiji when rain starts to fall you see children all over the place enjoying the rain.

The Fiji Meteorological Service says the rain is forecast to ease from late Tuesday