|Residents of Fiji begin the long process to recovery [AFP]
The nation of Fiji is beginning its massive clean-up operation in the wake of deadly flooding that has ravaged the island.
In the first days of April, Fiji has recorded over 223mm of rain. Normally it sees only 163mm for the entire month.
This much rain in such a small span of time definitely comes with consequences. Reports that up to 7 people have been killed because of the floods while 12,000 have been displaced. Many will be unable to return to their homes.
In Nadi Township, businessman Riyaz Ali said the situation was bleak, stating “It’s not a sight for the fain-hearted; the devastation is utter and complete”. It is also estimated that 15,000 people are without power, which is expected to take weeks to repair.
On top of this, the newest concern is the threat of communicable diseases in the evacuation centres. Health authorities are putting strategies into place to reduce any of these risks, such as distributing water purification tablets.
The governments of New Zealand and Australia are already pledging flood relief money, but stated that the funds would go to aid agencies rather than Fiji’s military regime.
On Tuesday, flights to the island resumed, allowing stranded tourists to leave and much needed supplies to arrive. Qantas Airways is expected to increase their number of flights as 2000 Australians still need to be transported back home.
This has not been the only flooding that Fiji has recently seen. Eleven people died in January when the island saw almost 3 times its average monthly rainfall.