Fiji Time: 1:53 PM on Tuesday 23 December

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Sirens to alert public

Felix Chaudhary
Wednesday, May 23, 2012

NADI is just one step away from having the country's first flood warning siren system.

Through the efforts of the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) Nadi Demonstration Project, two sites were strategically selected to cover the main Nadi Town and its surrounding low lying communities.

Apart from warning people about impending floods, the siren system also has the capability of issuing tsunami warnings.

Nadi Demonstration Project manager Vinesh Kumar said the siren sites were situated at the Nadi Town Council complex and Sikituru.

"May 10, 2012 marked a milestone for Sikituru with the set up of the first siren system in Fiji whereby a seven metre pine post was put in the ground and blessed by the village preacher," Mr Kumar said.

"The siren system equipment is being tested in New Zealand and awaits configuration of its voice message before shipping to Fiji. We are anticipating a time frame of two to three weeks," he said.

"The siren system also has another two available ports for other warnings like approaching tsunamis," he added.

Mr Kumar said lessons had been learnt from the recent floods and the siren system would go a long way in ensuring people had more time to get prepared at the onset of floods.

"In using a siren system, when critical levels are reached, communities would be awoken by a blaring sound at early or odd hours of the day or night during flood disasters. Here, people would be able to mobilise more effectively, take notice and action," he said.