Further Setback For Cyclone Winston Repairs After Fiji Floods

Initial assessment of damage from the tropical depression stands at over $US5.3 million

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, December 23, 2016) – Unprecedented flooding around the Fiji town of Rakiraki has washed away building material meant to repair homes damaged and destroyed after Cyclone Winston.

The area in the north of Viti Levu was one of the hardest hit by the intense storm in February and this week's floods were the worst in living memory, according to locals.

The Chairman of the Rakiraki Advisory Council Pandit Jayant Maharaj said delayed building works have been set back further after stacked material was washed away in floodwater.

He had been out assessing the damage this morning and said crops, livestock, schools and homes have suffered.

"The houses which haven't been completed were all underwater. The rain came in and had many landslides nearby the houses. the Roads have been blocked," he said.

Landslide disrupts water supply to thousands in Fiji.

Around 50,000 people are facing water disruptions in the Central Division as a result of damage to the water pumping stations at Fiji's Waimanu and Wainibuku following the recent bad weather.

The Water Authority of Fiji said a main pipe transporting water from the Waimanu pumping station to the Tamavua Water Treatment Plant was severely damaged due to a landslide on Tuesday morning.

Its acting CEO, Saman Ekanayake said crews are addressing the damage and it could take a week for repair works to finish as there are stabilization problems.

"The authority is currently sourcing water from the Savura Pumping Station but this is far too short of providing water to satisfy customer demands," he said.

Fiji Village reports 18 trucks have been deployed by the Authority for water carting in the Rewa Delta and areas in Suva.

Evacuation centres.

A total of 2,327 people are currently being housed at 119 evacuation centres around the country.

The Disaster Management Office, DISMAC, said there are 43 evacuation centres in the Central Division with 406 occupants, Eastern Division has 24 evacuation centres with 230 occupants, 19 evacuation centres are open in the North with 366 occupants while 33 evacuation centres are open in the Western Division with 1,325 occupants.

Its Director Akapusi Tuifagalele also added that the initial assessment damage from the tropical depression stands at $FJD10.7 million or over $US5.3 million.

He said the total cost of damage would be revealed next week.

Radio New Zealand International
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