Fiji – Hundreds Evacuate As Tropical Depression Causes Floods and Landslides

A slow-moving tropical depression has brought heavy rain to parts of Fiji since 16 December. Some areas have recorded almost 500 mm of rain in 24 hours.

Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office says that over 1,000 people have evacuated their homes to stay in evacuations centres. Flooding and landslides have caused damage to roads, bridges and some property but no fatalities have been reported.

The Rewa river has overflowed, forcing people living along the river and in low-lying areas to evacuate. Some roads have been blocked by floods and landslides, making access difficult and leaving some areas cut off.

Flood and Rain Warnings

Fiji Meteorological Service says that there could be more rain to come as the tropical depression (named TD04) heads towards the nations largest island of Viti Levu. In a statement of 19 December, the service said:

“On the projected path, the centre of TD04F is expected to pass over Viti Levu within next 6 to 12 hours and be close to Kadavu by midday tomorrow.”

Strong wind and heavy rain warning remains in place for the whole Fiji island group. Flood warnings and alerts are also in place, particularly for areas near to the Wainibuka, Rewa, Ba and Qawa rivers.

Evacuations

Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) says 1,363 people are staying in 89 evacuation centres have been set up. Most of those staying in the centres are in Central division (566), with other evacuees in Eastern (362), Northern (273) and Western (162) division. Those numbers are expected to increase over the next 24 hours.

NDMO says that flooding has been reported in at least 10 locations in the provinces of Naitasiri, Rewa, Namosi and Tailevu in Central Division.

In Western Division, the village of Rakiraki in Ra Province, is thought to be one of the worst affected. Fiji Broadcasting Corporation earlier today reported that flooding is now so severe residents have been forced to seek safety on the roofs of their homes.

The severe weather comes ten months after Cyclone Winston, a category five system, swept across much of the country killing 44 people and causing widespread destruction.

Many people are still living in tents as a result, making them more vulnerable to the effects of severe weather this time around.

Emergency Contact Numbers

The government of Fiji has issued a list of emergency contact numbers. If you need urgent assistance, please contact the Emergency Operation Centres on the numbers below:

  • National EOC – 3319250 or neocfiji@gmail.com
  • Central Division EOC – 3477000/9906320 or eoccentral16@gmail.com
  • Eastern Division EOC – 3216466/9904589/9905221or easterneoc@gmail.com
  • Northern Division EOC – 8811322/9994261 or northeoc@gmail.com
  • Western Division EOC – 6281553/9905909 or diveocwest@gmail.com

Rainfall

24 hours to 17 December

  • Viwa – 144 mm
  • Monasavu – 136 mm
  • Korolevo – 85 mm
  • Suva – 96 mm
  • Waimanu – 93 mm

24 hours to 18 December

  • Monasavu – 120 mm
  • Navua – 170 mm
  • Nabouwalu – 243 mm

24 hours to 19 December

  • Monasavu – 104 mm
  • Bukuya – 102 mm
  • Viwa – 144 mm
  • Rakiraki – 258 mm
  • Penang – 316 mm
  • Vatukacevaceva – 477 mm

 

Rainfall totals in Fiji 18 to 19 December 2016. Image: Fiji Meteorological Service

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Flood summary

Last updated: December 22, 2016
Event
Fiji, December 2016
Date
December 16 to December 22, 2016
Type
Landslide, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall

Locations

A - Naitasiri
B - Rewa
C - Namosi
D - Tailevu
E - Rakiraki

Magnitude

Rainfall level
144 mm in 24 hours
Viwa - December 16 to December 17, 2016
Rainfall level
136 mm in 24 hours
Monasavu - December 16 to December 17, 2016
Rainfall level
170 mm in 24 hours
Navua - December 17 to December 18, 2016
Rainfall level
243 mm in 24 hours
Nabouwalu - December 17 to December 18, 2016
Rainfall level
258 mm in 24 hours
Rakiraki - December 18 to December 19, 2016
Rainfall level
316 mm in 24 hours
Penang - December 18 to December 19, 2016
Rainfall level
477 mm in 24 hours
Vatukacevaceva - December 18 to December 19, 2016

Damages

Evacuated
1,363
December 16 to December 21, 2016

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