Fiji

Fiji: Floods - Information Bulletin n° 2

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Situation Report
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This bulletin is being issued for information only and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation. The Fiji Red Cross will, however, accept direct assistance to provide support to the affected population.

The situation

Heavy rains over the western and northern parts of Fiji on 24 January caused widespread flooding resulting in eight deaths and localized landslides. A State of National Disaster was declared over some parts of the Western Division of Viti Levu for 15 days with effect from 26 January 2012 although the scale and extent of the damage varied considerably from area to area. The water level decreased but flooding continued over the following days. Fine weather has been experienced over the last 12 hours, however according to Fiji Meteorology Service, reports indicate that the weather may worsen over the next 12 hours.

Deaths reported has increased to eight (8). The Fiji Government reported that during the peak of the flood there were a total of 64 evacuation centres open with a total of 4,561 evacuees. As of 3 February, 21 evacuation centres remain open and one of these is in a school in Ba. Ba is the only district where its school continues to be closed due to the flooding. The Fiji Meteorological Service predicted that the worsening weather conditions are likely to increase the chances of flooding in low-lying areas again and there is now a cyclone threat predicted to happen on Tuesday, 7 February.

Cleanup operations are underway in the economic centres where shopkeepers are in the process of sweeping the mud and debris from their shops. Flood levels had risen to up to one metre. Trucks are being organized to carry away the debris that have been swept onto the sidewalk and street. There have been substantial damages to villages and the collapse of the Moto Bridge has disrupted the water supply and access to markets for a large rural population.

The Fiji Government is reporting that Fiji Electricity Authority has restored power in the districts of Sigatoka, Nadi, Rakiraki, Tavua/Vatukoula/Nadarivatu and the majority of Lautoka and Ba. Fiji Electricity Authority is targeting to restore all the remaining areas by tonight. The teams will work round the clock to ensure power supply is fully restored to the remaining areas. The Water Authority of Fiji is also reported to be working around the clock on the rehabilitation work on the affected areas to restore the disrupted areas. Ba district is still without any reticulated water, including their hospital facilities. Access to affected areas remains a challenge as a number or roads and bridges are not passable in Nadi, Ba and other affected areas.

It is now reported by the government that evacuation centres are reopening in Sigatoka, Latoka, Nadi and Rakiraki in anticipation for the predicted rain. If the worsening weather creates increased flooding events it will greatly hinder relief distribution and rehabilitation of critical infrastructure.