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Fiji Time: 4:11 AM on Friday 18 April

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Public heeds warnings

Serafina Silaitoga
Saturday, March 01, 2014

ACTING commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu has called on the people of Vanua Levu to adhere to weather warning and move to safety when necessary.

After seeing how the flood ravaged villages and homes on Viti Levu, Mr Bolalevu said people in the North should not think twice about heeding warnings.

By 6pm yesterday, water level in the Labasa River rose to 2.5metres, which Mr Bolalevu said was critical.

At Namara, compounds were under water and residents watched helplessly from their homes.

Children remained indoors while men put up shutters, cleared debris from their compound and dug drains.

Shop owners were also moving stock to higher ground.

"We won't take this weather warning lightly. We have watched on television how the flood affected lives of many in Viti Levu and we don't want to go through the same," said resident Ram Reddy.

"The men in this area are helping one another by digging drains to make waterways so we can avoid flooding.

"People need to think fast and wisely and make decisions for the safety of their families.

"Move belongings to higher ground, including livestock and people should start moving these things during daylight.

"We expect heavy rain and flash flood warnings have also been issued so let's not waste time and act on the warning immediately."

Fiji Meteorological Centre director Alipate Waqaicelua said the Tropical Depression 15F, located about 130kilometres East-Northeast of Labasa at 5pm yesterday, was slowly moving out.