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Massive number stranded on rooftops: DISMAC


Mar 30, 2012 12:00:00 AM

Massive number stranded on rooftops: DISMAC Flooding levels in many areas of Fiji's West are higher than in January, with a massive number of people stranded on rooftops, says DISMAC director Pajiliai Dobui.

Dobui said how quickly water recedes over the next 24 hours will be critical.

He said the flood levels caused by rain associated with a tropical depression were higher than those experienced during a six-day deluge in January which claimed 11 lives.

Police said they were not aware of any deaths so far.

Dobui said a "massive" number of people were stranded on rooftops awaiting rescue and appealed for anyone with a boat to help relief efforts.

"We've got a lot of reports of people on rooftops, it's quite a massive number," he told reporters.

"If people in these areas have boats, we're asking them to make them available, as the little we have is not enough."

He said government teams had been activated this morning and they are assessing the weather situation to determine if further declarations need to be made.

He said anyone in need of immediate evacuation should contact their nearest police or fire stations or district officer.
“Requests for assistance came from some low lying villages around Lautoka, Nadi, Ba and Sigatoka early this morning, and they have been evacuated,” said Dobui.

“While the tropical depression is very slow moving, DISMAC and Government officials have been quick to respond,” he said.
All Western district administration offices have activated their emergency operations centres, and teams are standing by to help with evacuations.

Dobui reminded all Fijians to take precautions against the weather, to seek high ground immediately, find dry shelter and stay clear of flood waters.
“Flood waters are incredibly dangerous and everyone should stay away,” he said.

“If you see anyone - especially children - near flood waters, call authorities immediately.”

By Farzana Nisha/AFP

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