5 dead, thousands displaced in Fiji floods

SUVA. April 3. KAZINFORM. Severe flooding in the Pacific island nation of Fiji has killed five people and left about 8,000 others seeking shelter in evacuation centers, a government official said Tuesday, CNN reported.

Tropical Cyclone Daphne has lashed Fiji's largest and most populous island, Viti Levu, with strong winds and heavy rain.

The storm was expected to pass to the south of Fiji over the course of Tuesday. The Fiji Meteorological Service said it was maintaining its severe flood warning for "all major rivers, streams and low-lying areas" on the island.

Government officials, including Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, toured the affected areas on Monday.

Sharon Smith Johns, the government's information secretary, said Tuesday that improving weather in some areas was allowing some Fijians to move back to their homes.

The extreme weather has disrupted both internal and external travel. Authorities on Sunday suspended inbound flights to Nadi International Airport because nearby roads were flooded. The suspension was lifted Monday but remained subject to review.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has advised its country's citizens planning to fly into the airport "to reconsider their need to travel."


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