16 Jan 2009

Cost of Fiji floods rises

10:35 am on 16 January 2009

The cost of the flooding in Fiji continues to rise as a clean-up begins.

Eleven people have died and 300 businesses are ruined.

Some estimates of damage in Nadi alone are $200 million and there are calls to bulldoze the town and start again.

There are also calls to relocate some villages to higher ground.

But the mayor of Nadi says people must wait to see what government and international assistance will come before considering such drastic options.

The sugar cane industry has been decimated.

Thousands of acres of cane have been destroyed and the Cane Growers Association says the industry will take years to recover.

The industry is second only to tourism as Fiji's biggest industry. It brings in more than $US250 million annually, Most of the three million tonnes crushed annually is sold to markets in the European Union.