Flooding in Fiji claims two lives

Rising water in the western section of the country forces thousands to evacuate

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    No relief in sight as more heavy rain is expected for Fiji [Al Jazeera]

    At least two people have been killed over the past few days as widespread flooding hit the island of Fiji.

    The heavy tropical showers have also forced the evacuation of more than 1300 residents living on the west coast of the country.

    On Wednesday morning, Nadi Airport received almost a month’s worth of rain, 292 millimetres, in just 24 hours. 

    Even though the floods have taken a huge toll on farmers and livestock, officials have delayed declaring a state of emergency, saying that it was difficult to get detailed information out of some of the more rural areas.

    Flood waters as high as one and half metres have prevented police from responding to distress calls from isolated villages. Many areas are without electricity and running water.

    Tourists travelling to Fiji arrived only to find out that the airport would be the only sight they would see. Hotels and resorts were struggling to transport visitors to and from the airport, forcing many holiday travellers to rebook on the next available flight home.

    The Fiji Meteorological Service has been monitoring the current La Nina conditions across the tropical Pacific. The trend of above average rainfall and flash flooding is expected to continue for most part of the country until the end of March. 

    Adding to the current flooding situation, Fiji is in the middle of its current tropical cyclone season. It is expected that up to two cyclones will affect some part of Fiji by April.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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