Fiji – Four Dead as Cyclone Josie Causes Major Floods

At least four people were killed and another was missing in Fiji after Cyclone Josie caused severe flooding in the South Pacific island nation. The worst hit areas were in the west, including the tourist town of Nadi, located on the western side of the main island of Viti Levu.

Flooded roads in Fiji after Tropical Cyclone Josie, April 2018. Photo: Fiji Roads Authority

Over 1,800 people evacuated their homes and are currently staying in 35 evacuation centres set up by the country’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), mostly in Western Division.

Local media reported that four people died in the flooding, including 2 swept away in a flooded vehicle near Nadi, one person swept away in Ba and another in Lautoka. Police are still searching for a young man who was swept away by flood water in Sabeto, near Nadi.

Tropical Cyclone Josie moved past the island of Vitu Levu from 31 March, 2018 (local time) as a category 1 storm, bringing with it heavy rain and wind gusts up to 100 km/h.

It has since moved away from the island group and, as of 02 April, was located about 200 km south of Kadav about 300 km south of Suva. According to Fiji Met, a heavy rain warning remains in force for Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands, Lau and Lomaiviti group.

NDMO said: “Tropical Cyclone Josie took a dip and spared Kadavu its full force according to latest threat track & forecast track maps from the Fiji Meteorological Service after 7pm today. However, the Category 1 storm brought widespread flooding to areas in the Western half of Viti Levu. We are coordinating response on the ground while the Police is spearheading emergency evacuations and rescue.”

Fiji Roads Authority said that, as of 02 April, 40 roads remain closed in the Western Division; 7 roads remain closed in the Central Division; and 7 roads in the Northern Division.

NDMO said “We’re on the ground working with key response agencies clearing fallen trees and flood debris off your roads. Fiji, safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Track of Tropical Cyclone Jose in Fiji, late March / early April, 2018. Image: Fiji Met

Social Media