‘Unusual high tides reason behind floods’

EXTENSIVE flooding associated with Tropical Cyclone Josie which wreaked havoc across the Western Division was caused by unusual high tides combined with excessively high rainfall.

This was the word from Fiji Meteorological Service director Ravindra Kumar.

“We are anticipating another low pressure system this week that will bring heavy rainfall, but we do not anticipate the impact to be as big as what happened last weekend,” Mr Kumar said.

“The flooding that occurred last Sunday was a combination of two things.

“The tide was two metres high and the rain that fell was quite significant — these two factors plus the ground being saturated with rain from preceding days contributed to the floods that occurred across the West.

“As the rain fell and filled up waterways, the excess water tried to work its way out to sea and when the water from drains, rivers and creeks met the two-metre high tides, it caused a back flow.

“This rush of water resulted in the very strong currents that were reported and it also explains how the water levels came up so quickly.”

Mr Kumar urged people living in low-lying areas and near waterways to remain vigilant in anticipation of more rain this week.

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