Evacuees surge in North

Residents of Vulovi settlement in Labasa take shelter at the Guru Nanak Khalsa College in Labasa yesterday. Picture: LUISA QIOLEVU

Residents of Vulovi settlement in Labasa take shelter at the Guru Nanak Khalsa College in Labasa yesterday. Picture: LUISA QIOLEVU

THE number of evacuees at the 11 evacuation centres in the North increased to 552 yesterday.

On Monday, government recorded 290 people who were at nine evacuation centres, but this increased to 552 in 11 centres.

Divisional planning officer North Uraia Rainima said 10 centres were in Labasa while one was at Vunivesi, Savusavu.

The two new centres that opened yesterday were Saqani and Qalitu district schools, both in Cakaudrove.

“All government teams part of the Northern Emergency Operation Centre are on standby, prepared to carry out evacuation activities when the need arises,” he said.

“We will continue to monitor water levels of the five major rivers surrounding Labasa and so far, results have shown that the water levels continue to rise.

“We are pleading with all those living in flood-prone and low-lying areas to move to evacuation centres or to safe high grounds during this weather.”

Mr Rainima said all schools in the division were opened yesterday for evacuation purposes.

“So far there is no report of casualty or deaths in the division and we thank the public for keeping safe and adhering to weather advice,” he said.

“It’s very important for people to take heed of weather advice and stay indoors during heavy rain because we don’t want any unnecessary incidents to happen.”