Fiji floods: 4 dead, hundreds displaced


Fiji is no stranger to flooding. Cyclone Mick, the first of the summer cyclone season in the South Pacific, lashed the Vuda Point Marina near Lautoka, Viti Levu, Fiji on December 14, 2009, forcing thousands of people from their homes and causing widespread flooding. The cyclone killed at least three people, destroyed homes and ruined crops.


Elizabeth Thurston

Severe flooding in the Pacific island nation of Fiji has killed four people and left at least 800 people to find shelter in evacuation centres, reported CNN. The flooding has worsened since Tropical Cyclone Daphne attacked Fiji's largest and most populous island, Viti Levu, with strong winds and heavy rain.

Earlier reports stated at least five people were missing after floodwaters began rising rapidly on Thursday, according to the Associated Press. Authorities said the body of one man was found after his vehicle was swept away Friday by strong currents in Nadi township. The body of a second man was recovered in a creek in the western township of Ba.

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The Australian government has offered $1 million in immediate aid to Fiji, including blankets, water, sanitation and other essential supplies, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. A state of emergency has been declared in the country's western districts, which include Viti Levu. Water and power have been cut on the island, and roads have been closed.

Sharon Smith Johns, Fiji's information secretary, said she toured the affected areas with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, according to CNN. Johns said some people had started to try moving back to their homes.

The Associated Press also reported that floods in the same region in January killed 11 people.