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PM: Stay alert

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Saturday, March 14, 2015

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has called on every Fijian to be mindful of the risks of drowning as the country experiences heavy rain in light of Tropical Cyclone Pam.

He made the announcement at the launch of the 2014 Water Safety Council of Fiji Drowning Report in Suva yesterday.

Labelling Cyclone Pam as a "monster storm" because the amount of rainfall it dumped was extremely high, Mr Bainimarama called on Fijians to be vigilant and alert as the loss of innocent children through drowning was a tragedy.

"So today of all days, I want, as your Prime Minister, to again highlight the extreme danger that flooding poses to every Fijian but especially the most vulnerable among us, our children," Mr Bainimarama said.

"Parents and guardians, make sure you know where your children are. Make sure you keep them safe. Make sure you explain to them that even if a culvert or a creek looks safe, that can change in an instant.

"Flash flooding is a terrible killer. And today is one of the most dangerous days for all Fijians."

Mr Bainimarama said 77 per cent of the total drowning in Fiji last year occurred during the cyclone season while more than half of the 47 drowning victims last year were under the age of 25.

"We cannot afford to let our guard down with our children for even a minute. We need to keep an eye on them at all times to avoid the loss of these young lives and the terrible suffering it causes to their families and the whole community."

He urged all parents to equip their children with the skills they needed to get out of trouble.

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