Villagers told to avoid underwater explosion areas after recent earthquake on Kadavu

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-22 08:36:15|Editor: ZD
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SUVA, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) in Fiji has advised villages that live near Mount Washington on the island of Kadavu to refrain from diving on their fishing grounds and avoid movement near the area due to underwater explosions.

This was after the NDMO received reports that there were some activities underwater in Kadavu which could be of high risk to villagers.

Kadavu, with an area of 411 square kilometers, is the fourth largest island in Fiji.

It is a volcanic archipelago consisting of Kadavu and a number of smaller islands in the Great Astrolabe Reef. The Kadavu archipelago sits on the earthquake belt and the cyclone path of Fiji.

The Great Astrolabe Reef is one of the largest barrier reefs in the world.

Villages of Nabukelevu I Ra, Lomati and Talaulia are advised to exercise caution.

The NDMO has urged people to stay away from all landslides that have occurred in the last few days within the vicinity.

Continuous tremors or future eruption may make these areas even more hazardous.

The NDMO has also urged divers to avoid going out to sea during this time while assessments are still being undertaken.

Kadavu was hit by a 5.7 magnitude earthquake on Sunday which was felt as far as Nadi, Fiji's third largest town and Suva the capital of the island nation.

The public are advised to remain on alert and ensure that any slight damage to their houses is monitored as this may present a high risk if any future movement occurs.

Kadavu is one of the least developed areas of Fiji. There are few roads, and the local economy is largely dependent on subsistence farming, supplemented by exports to Viti Levu.

The main commercial crop is kava, a beverage or extract made from Piper methysticum, a plant native to the western Pacific islands. In the South Pacific, kava is a popular social drink, similar to alcohol in Western societies.

Tourism activities on the island include snorkeling and diving among the major attractions.