El Nino

Severe El Niño likely to persist until 2016

New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) says water temperatures, which dictate El Niño's strength, are already 3-5°C above normal, with the potential to climb even higher in coming months.

Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Tonga are already affected by drought, with hundreds of thousands of farmers in PNG's Highlands region losing crops, prompting a national disaster response.

NIWA Forecaster Chris Brandolino said the current El Niño was projected to last well into the new year.

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Severe El Niño likely to persist until 2016

New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research says water temperatures, which dictate El Niño's strenght, are already 3-5 degrees above normal with the potential to climb even higher in coming months.

Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Tonga are already affected by drought, with hundreds of thousands of farmers in PNG's Highlands region losing crops, prompting a national disaster response.

NIWA Forecaster Chris Brandolino says the current El Niño is projected to last well into the new year.

Estimated 600,000 people affected by El Nino

About 19 provinces have reported drought and frost for the Highlands, Telefomin District of Sandaun Province and Goilala in Central Province.

Six provinces in the Highlands region have all reported frost and drought impacting their food and water sources.

Simbu Province reported six deaths in the Waiye and Nilkande LLG of Kundiawa and Gembogl area.

Kundiawa hospital has scaled down its operations as it battles an outbreak of typhoid.

Some locals have resorted to charging people a fee for fetching water from local creeks.

PNG Loop's Breakfast Bites

Locals say frost worse than 1997

http://www.looppng.com/content/locals-say-frost-worse-1997

The extreme cold weather has put the Tambul people of Western Highlands Province in danger of starvation.

Rural policing lacks logistics

http://www.looppng.com/content/rural-policing-lacks-logistics

Rural policing can be difficult and quite expensive.

Locals say frost worse than 1997

The 'ice crystals' that flattened their food gardens and the surroundings this week is being described as severe.

Community leader and Tekep clansman of Maltaka, in the Upper Kaguel, John Kombani Boi said they will suffer the consequences and need the attention of government authorities.

He said this El Nino is far worse than 1997 as it completely sweep anything that is green.

"This is far worse. This is really a catastrophe.  We have never witnessed such frosts in the past and I am really sad to see our people suffer," Boi said.

Frost is due to El Nino – Weather Office

 This was the response this afternoon to LOOP News when we enquired about the current reports of frost in the Western Highlands.

He says this year a weather station was setup in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province however it was vandalized and the solar system was stolen.

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Morobe monitors El Nino impact

There are already signs and symptoms of extreme weather in some parts of the country and Morobe Province will also be affected.

He said if what they see and hear is true then they are heading for tough times ahead.