Heavy Rainfall In Fiji Leads To Flash Flooding In Nadi, Lautoka

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Western Division residents advised to seek higher ground

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, June 13, 2012) – Heavy downpour in Fiji's Western Division this afternoon has caused flash flooding in some parts of Nadi and Lautoka.

The current situation is due to an active trough of low pressure just to the west of Fiji which is gradually moving eastwards towards the group.

According to the latest bulletin issued by the National Weather Forecasting Centre in Nadi, a heavy rain warning remains in force for Viti Levu, Kadavu, Southern Lau, Yasawa, Mamanuca Group and Lomaiviti.

The Commissioner Western's office is advising people to take extreme caution and contact the relevant authorities if they feel they are insecure.

[PIR editor’s note: Fiji Meteorological Services reports that additional rainfall and higher winds are expected over the week, along with thunderstorms and rough ocean swells.]

Operations officer Jiuta Waqavonovono told FijiLive they have toured areas in Sigatoka, Nadi and Lautoka and rain has eased.

However, the water level in the Nadi and Sigatoka rivers are rising and people living in low lying areas are being advised to move to high grounds.

"We are monitoring the situation closely and have our people on the ground. There was flash flooding in some areas, but nothing major has been reported," said Waqavonovono. "We are closely working with the District Officers and Police and so far no decision has been taken on opening evacuation centers but we will be making an announcement after monitoring the situation later tonight."

"My only advice to people is not to panic but be very cautious and contact the authorities if they need any help. As it stands, the rain has eased but we cannot predict the weather and things can change anytime and we are anticipating the water levels to rise in the main rivers after high tide which is around midnight."

Meanwhile, according to some reports, some roads in Lautoka have been closed to traffic, however the Fiji Road Authority is yet to confirm this and is expected to issue a statement later tonight.

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