Fiji Time: 3:19 PM on Saturday 20 December

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'We're all good'

Timoci Vula
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

AS TORRENTIAL rain and floodwaters continue to hit areas in the states of Queensland and New South Wales, Fijian communities this newspaper contacted reported nil fatalities of Fiji nationals.

Former Fiji nationals residing in Brisbane said they were safe and they had seen that the water level had receded.

Some former Fiji residents told this newspaper yesterday that they still feared the Brisbane River would rise further.

In the meantime, they were also trying to establish contact with other Fiji nationals living in other states, particularly in farming areas in Bundaberg which was the worst-hit area.

Some residents said Bundaberg was the worst-hit and that the situation was critical, with authorities trying to get as many helicopters as possible to the area to evacuate residents from there and take them to Brisbane.

"The river level there is at the 9.5 metre mark, which is huge for Bundaberg, the Burnett River is still rising," a former Fiji national said at around midday yesterday.

Former Fiji national Mary Baravi said Fijians there were safe and there had been no injuries or fatalities recorded for any Fijian.

"It flooded here too but we are all good," Ms Baravi said from her Caboolture home yesterday.

"Some Fijians were affected really really bad, particularly those in low-lying areas and those who were affected by the tornado," she said.

"The water has begun to recede, the primary school started today (yesterday) and the high school will start tomorrow (today)," she said.

Ms Baravi said the Fijian community in Logan City areas, Ipswich, Caboolture and Morayfield were all safe.

"We are glad that no injuries or death was recorded for Fiji nationals," she said.

Meanwhile, AFP has reported that Australia ramped up its military response to deadly floodwaters yesterday.

It said that in the sugar farming town of Bundaberg, about 7500 residents had been displaced by the floodwaters, 1000 people plucked from the roofs of their homes in daring evening rescues after the river broke its banks late Monday.

The report quoted Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard as saying that four military helicopters, 100 troops and two Hercules transport aircraft had been deployed to the emergency, with the evacuation of patients from Bundaberg's hospital to Brisbane a priority.





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