Estimated Cost Of Fiji Flooding Tops $1.6 Million

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Central, Eastern divisions hardest hit by heavy rain

By Shalveen Chand

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, March 3, 2014) – A first glance estimate at remedying the damage caused by the floods in the Central and Eastern divisions last week has been placed at over $3million [US$1.6 million].

Commissioner Central Lieutenant Colonel Laisenia Tuitubou confirmed that initial reports and visits to affected areas proved it would take over $3m to get things back on track.

"From my experience, from what I have seen, the damage is going to be more than $3m," Lt-Col Tuitubou said yesterday.

"You have to consider the repair to the roads, the water supply has to be normalised, work done on restoring electricity and then there's agriculture."

He said although they could not provide an accurate figure, the "guesstimate" will be followed by a verification survey to get the actual cost.

[PIR editor’s note: Fiji Times Online reported that around 800 people displaced by flooding remain in evacuation centers.]

Lt-Col Tuitubou admitted some areas in Namosi which were affected had not been visited by the government teams.

He said there was a possibility the damage bill could increase.

Roads leading into the highlands were washed away.

Landslides, broken bridges, broken power lines, washed off power poles, broken water pipes, damage to farms and other infrastructure will be considered when the final figure is given to the government.

"Right now we are gathering information from the turaga ni koro (village headmen), the district advisory council and provincial administrators," Lt-Col Tuitubou said.

"After all that, we will give an estimated cost of damage to the government.

"We have not been able to reach all places yet because only some of the places have been made accessible."

Government is working on roads first, making places accessible so food and water can be taken to places in the interior of Fiji.

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