Please move while it is still daylight - Soko

Please move while it is still daylight - Soko

By Vijay Narayan , Navitalai Naivalurua
Friday 17/02/2023
NDMO Director Vasiti Soko

People living in low-lying areas and communities beside major rivers in the Western Division and flood-prone communities, are urged to move to higher ground as heavy rain is expected to continue into the night

NDMO Director Vasiti Soko says most river levels have already reached or are above their warning level.

She says continuous heavy rain is expected to cause the rivers to burst their banks, and they can confirm that the rivers at Rakiraki, Tavua (Nasivi), Ba and Vitogo have already burst their banks.

Soko says they met with the Police Chief of Operations this morning, and he has assured them that the Police are on standby should the need for deployment arise.

She adds Police have also pre-positioned key strategic assets to assist members of the public on the ground.

The Director says they have also consulted with the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) and are reminding mariners to heed advisories issued by authorities as current sea conditions can be dangerous for small boats due to large waves and rough seas.

She is urging the public to refrain from swimming, fishing or undertaking any recreational marine activity along coastal areas as hazardous breaking waves are also expected – placing people’s lives at risk.

Soko says upon consultation with the Acting Permanent Secretary for Civil Service, all non-essential civil servants are encouraged to seek permission from their superiors for early release from work to allow them to prepare their families, communities, and properties for the impending adverse weather.

She says other employers are also urged to do the same.

Should anyone need assistance, please reach out to Fiji Police Force on 917 or call any of the NDMO divisional emergency operation centres:

· Commissioner Northern EOC - 8811322 and 8811005

· Commissioner Western EOC – 6660760

· Commissioner Centrals EOC – 3477000

· Commissioner Eastern EOC - 3313400

Meanwhile, the current adverse weather condition affecting the whole country is expected to persist over the Fiji Group until the weekend and the risk of river flooding and flash flooding is elevated during high tide.

The NDMO Director says the risk of landslides remains as Fiji faced continuous rain in the past few days.

A flood warning is in force for low-lying areas, small streams and flood-prone areas within Tuva in Sigatoka, Nadi, Vitogo at Vakabuli in Lautoka, Ba, Nasivi in Tavua, Yaqara, Penang and Rakiraki river.

A flood alert remains in force for low-lying areas, small streams and flood-prone areas within Sigatoka.

A heavy rain warning remains in place for the whole of the Fiji Group. An active trough of low pressure lies over the group. Associated clouds and rain are expected to affect the group till late Sunday.

A strong wind warning remains in force for the areas of Yasawa and Mamanuca Group, northern and western Viti Levu from Rakiraki through to Ba, Lautoka, Nadi to Lomawai, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands, Lau and Lomaiviti Groups.

The Fiji Meteorological Office says fresh to strong northwesterly winds with speeds up to 35 kilometres per hour to 45 kilometres and gusts up to 60 kilometres over Yasawa and Mamanuca groups, northern and western Viti Levu [Rakiraki trough to Ba, Lautoka, Nadi to Lomawai], Kadavu and nearby smaller islands, Lau and Lomaiviti groups.

They say the winds of this strength can break tree branches, damage crops and weak, unshielded structures like temporary sheds and tents in exposed communities.

Stay with us for the weather updates.

You can contact us via the facebook messenger account, fijivillage if your area is affected by flood waters. People can also share photos and videos of the affected areas.

Call us if you need emergency assistance and we will reach out to the relevant agencies to assist.

You can also call us on 3314766, 9923351 or 7734766.

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