More rain forecast as deadly floods hit Fiji

Rising flood waters in Navua town, about 50 kilometres west of Suva. [Pacific Harbour resident Leah Stone]
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Rising flood waters in Navua town, about 50 kilometres west of Suva. [Pacific Harbour resident Leah Stone]

By correspondent Dominique Schwartz and staff

Last Updated: Sat, 31 Mar 2012 23:23:00 +1100

Fiji's weather bureau has lifted the severe flood warning for major rivers in the west of the island of Viti Levu, but the crisis is far from over.

At least two men have died due to floods caused by heavy rain since Thursday and an unknown number of people are missing.

Fiji's Ministry of Information says one man died when his car was swept away in Nadi and the body of another man was retrieved from a creek in Ba.

Hundreds of tourists are stranded as flash floods close the main highway to the international airport.

Fiji's national carrier Air Pacific has cancelled all international flights into Fiji because passengers have no way to reach their hotels.

More than 100 people have been rescued from rising flood waters, but dozens of people are stranded on bridges and rooftops.

Fiji's disaster management office says more than 3,000 people spent Friday night in evacuation centres.

Officials say the floods could be worse than those that hit Vitu Levu in January, killing 11 people.

The weather bureau has forecast more rain until Tuesday.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) says it is not aware of any Australians who have been injured in the floods.

A spokesperson from the department says a number of Australians have been contacted but there are none who are at risk.

DFAT says officials are in regular contact with Fiji's disaster management office and will continue to confirm the whereabouts and safety of Australians in the affected areas.

The spokesperson says the Government stands ready to provide assistance to the people of Fiji as more information and assessments of the damage become clear.

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