SUVA, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama on Wednesday blamed climate change for the more severe storms across the country.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the country's first children's Heart Screening Center in Fiji's capital Suva, Bainimarama said this sort of severe weather is becoming more frequent and severe due to climate change.
He mentioned the deadly torrential rains and flooding which hit the island nation and killed two children over the Easter weekend.
A 15-year-old boy was reportedly swept away at sea while swimming and a three-year-old toddler died after he slipped and hit a drain. Bainimarama conveyed condolences to the families of the two children.
Fijian police said a man was missing after being swept away by strong currents early Wednesday.
Noting that the rains and floods of these days are different from those that their generation encountered during their childhood, he urged Fijians to follow advice from the authorities when flood alerts and heavy rain warnings are in place.
"This is why all Fijian families must remain on high alert whenever severe weather heads our way, whether that's a rainstorm, a tropical depression or a tropical cyclone," he said.
"We must all also take special care to ensure that children and the elderly are kept as far away as possible from flooded areas."
Fiji's Meteorological Service lifted most storm and flood warnings on Wednesday, but said that strong winds will continue to batter the southern part of the country on Wednesday night.
Some roads across the country currently remain closed due to flooding.