WORDS can never be enough to describe the horror, shock, grief, suffering and pain that flood victims in the Western Division have gone through these past few weeks.
The heart wrenching ordeals and experiences from those directly affected, those suffering the loss of a loved one, loss of livehood, loss of everything they hold near and dear and accounts from those involved in rescue efforts tell a different story about the sufferings of humanity through these natural and unpredictable disasters.
Sam (not his real name), a member of the Fiji Police Force in Nadi, was part of the search and rescue operation team at the height of the floods. He was granted a few days leave to visit his own family in Suva before heading back to continue relief work with his unit.
Sharing his experiences with The Sunday Times, Sam says he still couldn't get over the things he witnessed, the struggles and sadness, the heart aches, the anguish and devastation - it was all too much.
"I still remember the little baby's face - the one who died of malnutrition. It was a cold day. The baby's mother was holding her on the rooftop when we arrived. I carried her to the mortuary, looking at her and thinking of my own daughter," he said.
"How could something so terrible happen to this innocent baby? I cradled her in my arms holding back my tears.
"We had to use a boat to carry out our operations and even our five-horsepower boat was pushed around by the floods - the current was very strong.
"We also found a man in his vehicle. His legs were up against the window - it seemed as though he was trying to fight his way out. Another young man we found was stuck between a tree, his face swollen from drowning.
"It's such a terrible loss and I hope these souls will find rest and peace."
At Nahigatoka Village in Sigatoka, the floods struck in the early hours of morning, taking everyone by surprise before leaving their homes in a wreck covered with silt and mud.
Salome Nadredre and her husband were at her parent's place last week Friday when the rains started.
To her, it seemed as though the rains wouldn't bring it the raging floods that came later in the day.
"It started with light rain but the floodwaters hadn't come up yet in the village. Around 4am, the murky waters began to rise in the village. The high tide around midday didn't help the situation and before long the floodwaters just filled up everywhere," she said from Sigatoka.
"We rushed to get the vehicle to safe grounds way before that, around 3am, then rushed to our home to put our appliances and other basic necessities on high ground.
"The floodwaters had even reached my home. In the sitting room, the waters were waist-high. To be honest, I got excited seeing the flood come in but then I realised this was nothing to be excited about because our livelihood, our homes and our lives were at risk.
"The waters have since receded but the devastation and damage left behind not to mention the trauma some families are going through is unimaginable."
Unimaginable indeed for someone like Rupeni Fonmanu, a volunteer at the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park under the National Trust of Fiji, who froze in shock at how quickly the weather had turned on humanity.
"Waking up to the feel of dampness, cold water rushing into the room - it can be very frightening especially if you've never experienced a flood before," he said recalling his experience.
"When the rain water rushed down onto the helpless people of Sigatoka, all I did was think about what to do next. As I stook there recollecting my thoughts, water rushed into the house, filling it up to my knees.
"Before I realised, everything around me started floating and that's when it hit me - what am I going to do? I rushed around to save home items and it wasn't an easy task. Finding the highest point in the house and piling these things on top of each other as the water level rose inside the house was quite an experience.
"I must admit it was a dangerous thing to do but at the time, that was all I could think of doing. I did what I could and getting wet was the least of my worries. When I opened the front door, it was an even more horrific sight - the water was now waist-high and the rains continued days on end.
"People were quickly making their way to the evacuation point and I followed as well. With everything happening so quickly, I started to feel fear - the sight of rising waters didn't help calm the nerves.
"To make matters worse, I was alone, away from my family, friends and colleagues in Suva - believe it or not, it actually brought tears to eyes - that feeling of helplessness started to creep in.
"Home and family seemed so far away and my fear turned into loneliness."
Braving the cold for hours, he soon found the floods had all but diminished the spirit of unity and togetherness during a time of havoc. He said the villagers continued to share a smile or two with passing neighbours.
"Here I was feeling lost and terrified and yet these people were greeting me as if it was a fine day," he said.
"The friendliness and humour of the Fijian hospitality at a time of great loss and difficulty will never be forgotten."
And while those spared the wrath of the floods have come out in numbers to help out in their own little way, government officials, non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, youth groups, religious groups and like-minded individuals, the gift of compassion is so much appreciated at a time like this for the families and communities in these flood-ravaged areas.