Floods wreak havoc in West

A vehicle is swept away into a drain by strong currents at Waimalika in Sabeto, Nadi yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

A vehicle is swept away into a drain by strong currents at Waimalika in Sabeto, Nadi yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

“IT was scary, we have never seen anything like it.”

That’s how a Natabua, Lautoka, man described the experience residents had as they fled to higher ground early yesterday morning after “raging floodwaters” engulfed their homes.

Sekiva Knight said the homes located on the corner of the Queens and Natabua roads were almost completely engulfed by floodwater.

“That place usually floods on the road and in their compounds,” he said.

“This is the first time that the floodwaters covered their homes with up to five feet of water.

“Some of the houses had water almost up to the ceiling.

“People were awoken by the floods at about 5am and they just got up, grabbed their loved ones and ran.

“They had no time to collect any belongings or valuables, they even left their cars behind.”

Mr Knight said a Chinese family was trapped inside their home and were unable to leave because of the strength of the current.

He said military officers rescued the family at about 7am.

Also in Lautoka, residents of Qaliwalu settlement were forced to flee their homes at about 4am after the Saru river burst its banks.

Ravindra Lal, a resident, helped evacuate three families and moved them to higher ground.

“This settlement always floods but this time the flood was different,” he said.

“It came in so fast and the current was so strong. They have lost everything.”

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