Flood Message

April 11, 2018 0 Comments 0 tags

Last Updated on 4 weeks by Publishing Team

What is Flooding?

Flooding is a dangerous natural event that occurs when water overflows onto land that is usually dry. This excess water can be temporary, but it can also linger for extended periods, causing significant disruption and damage. Flood waters are powerful and move with great force, posing a serious threat to people and property. The moving water can carry debris like branches, rocks, and even buildings, which can cause serious injuries or become deadly projectiles. The current of flood waters can be strong enough to knock people off their feet and even sweep away entire vehicles. Therefore, it’s crucial to be aware of the dangers of flooding and take necessary precautions to stay safe during flood events.

When does it occur?

Flooding in Fiji can happen throughout the year, but there are certain times when the risk is higher. One major cause is tropical cyclones, which can bring intense rainfall and storm surges that overwhelm rivers and coastal areas. These cyclones are most frequent during the warm season, from November to April, which also coincides with Fiji’s wet season. So, the period from November to April sees an increased risk of flooding due to both heavy rainfall and the potential for cyclones. However, floods can also occur outside of this window as a result of heavy localized downpours.

Where can it occur?

While low-lying areas, coastal zones, and places near bodies of water like rivers, streams, culverts, drains, and dams are certainly more susceptible due to factors like overflowing rivers or storm surge, even higher ground isn’t entirely out of risk. Flash flooding, for example, can develop very quickly in areas with heavy rain, even if they aren’t typically prone to flooding. Human development can also play a role – construction that reduces the land’s ability to absorb rainwater can increase the risk of flooding even in unexpected places. So, while it’s always wise to be extra cautious in traditionally high-risk areas, staying informed and aware of the potential for flooding wherever you are is important.

What are the risks during floods?

  1. Death
  2. Drowning
  3. Injury
  4. Loss of property
  5. Loss of loved ones

    Floods pose a number of dangers during the event itself and in the aftermath. The immediate threat comes from the water itself. Flood waters can be fast-moving and powerful, carrying debris that can cause injuries or even crush structures. Sadly, many flood deaths happen when people try to drive through moving flood waters.

    Even if the water isn’t moving quickly, it can still be dangerous. Floodwater can be contaminated with sewage, chemicals, and animal waste, which can lead to a variety of illnesses. In addition, floodwater can hide electrical hazards and uneven surfaces, which can cause injuries.

    After the flood waters recede, there are still risks to be aware of. Mold can quickly grow in damp buildings, posing health risks. Additionally, damaged electrical systems and exposed gas lines can create fire hazards. Floods can also disrupt essential services like clean water and electricity, which can make it difficult to recover. The stress of a flood can also lead to mental health problems for those affected.

What should you do?

  1. Prepare Your Home
  2. Prepare an emergency kit with food and water, flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  3. Move important items to the highest possible floor to protect them from flood damage.
  4. Move animals and livestock to higher ground
  5. Get to higher ground early or designated evacuation centres
  6. Ensure that food and clean water rations are stored safely
  7. Cook food thoroughly and boil all water before consuming these
  8. Watch out for hidden dangers (Flooded roads, electrical wires, broken trees and structures)
  9. Keep dry and warm
  10. Wear enclosed footwear to protect from injury and infection

Know the risk

  1. Never underestimate the strength of the water
  2. Listen to the latest weather updates and emergency instructions and keep safe
1.    Don’t walk or swim through flooded waters.

2.    Don’t drive through flood waters.

3.    Don’t drive over bridges that are flooded. Floodwaters can make the bridge unstable and also stop you from seeing the bridge itself and this can lead to drowning in these areas.

4.    Don’t play in flooded waters.

5.    Don’t fish in flooded waters.

6.   Don’t touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

Don’t risk your life during floods!

For more information please visit the Ministry and Medical Services website http://www.health.gov.fj

Flood Message

 

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