Fiji – Floods in Western Division as More Severe Weather and Coastal Flooding Expected

At least one person died after heavy rain caused flooding in the Western Division of Fiji on 17 February. More severe weather is expected across the island group.

Floods in Western Division, Fiji, 17 February 2023. Photo: Fiji Red Cross

Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office reported flooding in parts of the Western Division including Rakiraki, Tavua and Rabulu Village from 15 to 17 February. Fiji Roads Authority reported that, as of 17 February, roads were closed due to flooding in 80 locations across areas in Sigatoka, Nadi, Lautoka, Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki. Some roads were also flooded in Northern Division.

Fiji Broadcasting Commission reported one person died in the swollen Nananu River near Tavua.

All schools were closed on 17 February after severe weather was forecast across much of the country, including strong winds, heavy rain and unusually high tides.

Fiji Meteorological Service said, “a Heavy Rain Warning remains in force for the whole Fiji Group,” and a “Coastal Inundation Alert is currently in force for the coastal areas of Yasawa and Mamanuca Group; Natadola to Coral Coast and southern coastal areas of Vatulele; Kadavu and nearby smaller islands; Lau and Lomaiviti groups; and Bua and Cakaudrove.

Coastal flood warnings in Fiji, 17 February 2023. Image: Fiji Meteorological Service
Heavy rainfall warnings in Fiji, 17 February 2023. Image: Fiji Meteorological Service