31 Mar 2012

Emergency services in Fiji work overnight to rescue people due to flooding

5:29 am on 31 March 2012

Emergency teams have worked overnight to rescue people across Fiji's main island of Viti Levu due to massive flooding.

Fiji's Disaster Management Office has described it as the worst flooding since 2009.

The townships of Sigatoka, Nadi, Lautoka, Ba and Rakiraki are under water .

The director of Fiji's Disaster Management Office, Pajiliai Dobui, says rescue efforts are being hampered because a lot of areas are inaccessible.

"It is very difficult getting a boat into a dry area then from a dry area and then we have again a pool of flooded areas where another boat is needed where this boat can not be transported to the other site, this is some of our difficulties."

Pajiliai Dobui says evacuation centres have been set up to accommodate hundreds affected by the floods.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs is advising those travelling to Fiji to check with their airline because of the massive flooding.

Nadi International Airport was closed last night and all domestic and international flights cancelled because the town was underwater.