Typhoid outbreak feared in flood-hit Fiji

January 12th, 2009 - 1:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Wellington, Jan 12 (DPA) Health authorities in the Pacific island state of Fiji warned Monday of a possible typhoid outbreak following four days of torrential rains which have flooded large areas, killed seven people and forced over 9,400 people to be evacuated from their homes.With three towns, including Nadi, home to the country’s international airport, under water and another tropical depression threatening it, the health ministry urged people to collect rainwater to drink and to beware of contamination that could cause typhoid, dengue fever and diarrhoea.

A state of emergency remained in force in the western division of the main island Viti Levu, where Nadi, Sigatoka and Ba were still closed to allow civic authorities to mop up as floodwaters receded.

Dusk to dawn curfews were enforced in the towns to prevent looting of abandoned homes and stores.

With food supplies running short, a New Zealand tourist on the resort island of Denarau told the TV3 channel that restaurants were closed and holidaymakers were effectively confined to their rooms.

Power supplies were cut in some places, drinking water was restricted and telephone lines were down.

Fiji’s ruler, military strongman Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama, launched a worldwide appeal for aid to support the government’s National Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Programme, the independent Fijilive news website reported.

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