Sunday, February 04, 2007

Should the town of Labasa be moved to higher ground?

from w
There's a rhythm of flood and drought in babasiga land and that's taken for granted, but what a nuisance it is every summer or so.

The refrain I used to sing often - 'Don't let the rains come down, my roof's got a hole in it and I might drown!'

Because Labasa grew spasmodically from a few buildings at Malau port then the Mill area with their staff taking up residence in the nice hills east of Labasa River. But the low-lying area - once mangrove and flood-prone land west of the river - grew with with a few Chinese and Indian shops in the 40s, then today it is a commercial town. So flooding of the river always causes damage and dismay.

The Fiji papers are telling the story of the latest flood in Labasa and as usual there is damage to the crops. Isa lei, why don't they move the town to higher ground?

Crops, Homes & Shops Damaged in Labasa Flash Floods
By fijivillage
Feb 5, 2007, 07:35

There has been wide spread damage to crops in the northern division while shops in Labasa town have also suffered major damage as a result of the flash floods last night.

Commissioner Northern Misaele Naivalu speaking to Village News from the middle of Labasa town this morning confirms that the water level is slowly receding. He said that many shops and homes still have water inside while a large amount of crops have also been destroyed. Naivalu said officials are still trying to gather information on the exact number of people still taking shelter at the evacuation centres at Sangam College, Holy Family School and Labasa Civic Centre.

Commissioner Northern Misaele Naivalu said it would be wise for all schools in Labasa to be closed today.

Although the Education Ministry is yet to release a statement on the schools in the northern division, Naivalu said they are currently trying to ensure that all schools in the north remain closed today.
and from Fiji Times
A statement from the Ministry of Provincial Development has cautioned people to stay away from Labasa town as it is still underwater.

Bus operators have been advised that all major roads on Vanua Levu including Navidamu, Coloci, Dradramea roads are still underwater and closed to buses.

The Ministry says Korovuli Bridge in Seaqaqa, the Labasa/Savusavu highway at the Tabia roadn junction, roads along the Qawa and Labasa rivers, Labasa town, Bulileka and Valebasoga roads, Buca and Tukavesi areas are not accessible to buses and other vehicles.


Pandabonium said...

I read today that a man drowned in Labasa. Maybe gradually move things to higher ground and require new structures be at least built on posts - though that expense might not be practical in Fiji due to cost.

Snorkels - everyone gets a snorkel...

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

They are cleaning up the mess now and a lot of grocery food has been dumped at the tip so scavengers are searching for cans of food etc. that might be okay but the police are stopping them. Some people have lost their gardens which were near rivers so they are hungry.
The schools probably will reopen on Monday. Those near rivers such as All Saints lost books and furniture etc. Seems like the weather warnings were not early enough.