Fiji flood clean-up expected by weekend

The clean-up effort after floods in Fiji‘s west this week is expected to be completed by the weekend.

Flooding in Labasa area, Fiji Photo: Fijian Government

Cyclone Josie caused widespread flooding and landslides, leading to six reported casualties, and hundreds seeking shelter in evacuation centres.

The director of Fiji‘s National Disaster Management Office, Anare Leweniqila, said today‘s fine weather had allowed authorites to make good progress.

“It is progressing well, however we have requested government for additional time so government has allocated us the necessary requirement.

“So schools will now be deferred until next week Monday so that gives us ample time to complete the necessary clean-up. As we speak, for the west we only have 10 evacuation centres left with around 513 evacuees.”

Shri Ghurnanak Khalsa College in Labasa is closed for the day due to heavy rain and extensive flooding in the area. Photo: Fijian Government

Mr Leweniqila said quick action from authorities in the Northern Division helped avoid any deaths from flooding in that area.

He said heavy rain in the north overnight led to a new spate of floods but the impact was limited by the actions of the local commissioner.

“Commissioner of the Northern Office was up at around 2am together with the rescue teams to move all affected people to emergency evacuation areas.

“I think based on that proactive support we have not received any reports of any casualties.”

Mr Leweniqila said 36 families were moved to evacuation centres but were expected to return home soon.