Heavy rain causes school closures, over 200 in evacuation centres in Fiji

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Flooding along the Sabeto to Waimalika Road, Fiji
Flooding along the Sabeto to Waimalika Road, off Queen's Highway, yesterday. Image: Fiji Meteorological Service /RNZ

RNZ Pacific

The Fiji Meteorological Service has a heavy rain warning still in place for the whole of the country after a weekend of flooding, although some floodwaters have receded.

Flood and flash flood warnings and alerts are also in place, including a warning for all flash flood-prone areas, small streams and low-lying areas of Vanua Levu and western Viti Levu, and an alert for all flash flood-prone areas, small streams and low-lying areas in the rest of Fiji.

All schools in the Northern, and Western education divisions, including Ovalau, are closed today due to adverse weather that has affected these areas.

Last night, Education Secretary Selina Kuruleca said some schools were being used as evacuation centres.

“And most of the schools are deemed to be inaccessible due to broken Irish crossings [and] flooded waters, and flood-prone areas are still flooded even though the low tide [Sunday] afternoon, we had hoped for some relief,” she said.

“There are also reports of power outages, water cuts, and disruption to public transportation.

“Heads of schools in the mentioned education divisions and district are to closely work with school management committees to assess the status of your schools.”

12 evacuation centres open
National Disaster Management Office Director Vasiti Soko said as of midday yesterday, about 12 evacuation centres were open in the west, sheltering about 230 people.

“Some of the evacuation centres that were opened [Saturday] night have closed early [Sunday] morning as families have safely returned home once floodwaters receded.”

Also in her statement on Sunday, she said there had not been any reported cases of injury or casualty.

Fiji police said officers were on standby to assist, and people could reach out to the Divisional Command Centers if they needed help.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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