Story by newstalkzb.co.nz
It is feared up to six people may have lost their lives in the storms which have been lashing Fiji.
Eight thousand people have spent the night in evacuation centres and tourists in the popular resort area of Denarau Island, on the west of Viti Levu, are stranded because of flooding to around 60 percent of the area, including on the road to the airport. Many areas are without power.
The Fiji Meteorological Service is forecasting further heavy rain and squally thunderstorms for Vanua Levu, the Northern Lau group, Tavenui and the Yasawas.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website www.safetravel.govt.nz warns that further bad weather is expected later in the week. The ministry is advising tourists to monitor the situation and contact their travel agent for the latest information.
The website fijilive.com reports that a state of emergency has been declared for the whole of the Western Division. Interim Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration Ratu Epeli Ganilau says the move is designed to safeguard lives and property and to prevent criminal elements from taking advantage of the flood hit areas.
The website says movements from dusk to dawn have been restricted in Ba, Nadi and Sigatoka. Labasa Town in the Northern Division and Nausori Town in the Eastern Division are bracing for severe flooding tonight as a result of the tropical depression.