Floods causing havoc along Central highways

National, Normal

The National – Tuesday, June 21, 2011

HEAVY flooding in Abau, Rigo and parts of Kairuku-Hiri districts in Central has completely cut off access to sections of the Hiritano and Magi highways.
Public motor vehicles and other transport services in and out of the districts ceased last week, with operators fearing for the safety of their vehicles.
Reports from assessments carried out by the provincial disaster office and a team from the National Disaster office said Amazon Bay, Cloudy Bay and Aroma coast local level governments in Abau, and Kalo and Hula in Rigo had been severely affected.
Provincial disaster coordinator, Daniel Mona said most of the road sections, including feeder roads between the three LLGs in Abau and two in Rigo, were either underwater or had their culverts washed away.
“Flooding has hit parts of Kairuku district, including Bereina, as a result of heavy rain.
“Roads there have been affected. We went to assess the situation during the weekend but got bogged down and had to turn around.”
Mona and the national disaster team visited the affected areas on Saturday to assess damage to roads and food gardens.
“Intersections in Moreguena, Lalaura village and Aroma coast, Amazon Bay and Cloudy Bay are all affected.
“In Rigo, Hula, Kalo and Makerupu, many villages are experiencing heavy flooding.
“The road section between Kemabolo and Hula is underwater but assessments are still being carried out in the area to determine the extent of damage,” Mona said.
He said there was heavy flooding at Launa Kalana and Maupa junctions to Kererakua, Paramana where all sections of the road were underwater.
“Most of the culverts were built very low or were too small to contain the amount of water and were washed away.”
Mona said the provincial and national disaster offices had prepared letters to Provincial Affairs and Works and Transport for road assessment and proper technical road works to be carried out.