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Family of four buried in Fiji landslide

Published: 1:04PM Wednesday January 25, 2012 Source: ONE news

A family of four has been buried in a landslide as torrential rain continues to lash Fiji.

FBC News says the 35 year-old father, 30 year-old mother and their two daughters, aged three and one, were asleep at the time of the incident.

The family's home in Tukaraki village, Yakete Ba, was totally buried in the rubble.

Because of the remote location and weather conditions a rescue team could not be deployed to the site.

Meanwhile, authorities have yet to declare a state of emergency despite extensive flooding which has claimed two lives and warnings of further bad weather.Fiji authorities have yet to declare a state of emergency despite extensive flooding which has claimed two lives and warnings of further bad weather.

The torrential rain has driven more than 1300 people into evacuation centres on the west coast of the country as they watch their homes and livelihoods literally drain away.

The floods have prompted the Assistant Commissioner of Police to urge the public to take notice of warnings. "We have lost two lives through drowning, we do not want to see any more lives lost," Henry Brown said.

The floods are taking a huge toll on farmers and rising river levels were responsible for the deaths of two farmers who were trying to save their livestock.

"Farmers have not been able to move their livestock quickly enough to high ground," Colonel Mason Brown, general secretary agriculture, said.

Officials have delayed calling a state of emergency while assessors are out in the field. The Secretary for Information, Sharon Smith Jones, said it is hard to get information out some of the more rural areas.

And police have admitted high water levels have prevented them getting to some isolated settlements despite receiving distress calls from residents.

"There is a lot of areas without water and there is also some issues with electricity but we are asking people to bear with us," from the Ministry of Transport and Works, Sainiana Radrodro, said.

"We are hoping they have prepared themselves for this sort of weather."

Nadi is under a 6pm to 6am curfew as the severe flooding continues.

Tourist areas hit

The west coast, including the tourism gateway of Nadi, is under water and outer island resorts such as Plantation Island are struggling to transport passengers to and from the airport.

Low lying areas are awash but resorts are operational despite continuing heavy rain forecast for the country.

The weather has not stopped New Zealanders heading to Fiji on their holidays. Flight Centre and House of Travel say Kiwis have not being cancelling their trips and a Flight Centre spokeswoman says they have been telling people not to panic.

House of Travel retail director Brent Thomas says that while some tourists have not been able to get to destinations they have wanted to, it is mainly business as usual.

Air New Zealand says all flights in and out are running to schedule.

Currently about 430 New Zealanders are registered as being in Fiji.

- with Newstalk ZB

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