Heavy rain hits flood-stricken Fiji again

January 14th, 2009 - 11:36 am ICT by IANS  

Wellington, Jan 14 (DPA) Torrential rains lashed flood-stricken Fiji again Wednesday and weather forecasters warned that worse was to come as another tropical depression settled over the Pacific island state.The town of Nadi, where the country’s international airport is situated, was reported to be cut off under 1.5 metres of water after a nearby river burst its banks for the second time overnight.

The police updated to eight the death toll from flooding, but said all the bodies had not been recovered, Radio New Zealand reported from Fiji’s capital Suva.

Rajendra Prasad, director of the Meteorological Office, told Radio New Zealand there had been heavy rain overnight over most of the islands that comprise Fiji, it was still raining and the situation was expected to worsen.

The island state of about 900,000 people has been swamped by monsoon-like rains since Friday and no relief is forecast until the end of the week at the earliest.

Although about 3,000 people who were evacuated from their flood-hit homes have been allowed to return, more than 6,000 remain in emergency evacuation centres.

Crops have been devastated and food and drinking water are running out. Hundreds of tourists have been trapped on offshore islands or at Nadi airport where flights out of the country are fully booked.

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