El Nino

UNICEF calls for EL Nino costing

The El Nino has caused severe drought through much of the region including Vanuatu which is still recovering from Cyclone Pam.

UNICEF Pacific Representative Karen Allen says affected children are showing signs of malnutrition and diarrhoea which could lead to greater developmental issues in the future.

Dr Allen says although governments have said there is no need for any mass appeal, there is a pressing need to look at the potential costs of the system.

El Nino effects on Cyclones being monitored

Acting Director of the National Disaster Management Office Akapusi Tuifagalele says following the 1997 drought, the country had experienced a series of natural disasters.

“That is one of the issues that we are actually looking into knowing that for what happened in 1997 & 1998 it was broken by a tropical cyclones, followed by flooding. We are hoping that is not going to happen for us during this season but it may,” said Akapusi Tuifagalele, acting Director NDMO.

Villagers crying out for help

Village councillor Clifford Gaileko said since El Niño hit the province about four months ago, there had not been one single authority or elected leader that had come down to assess the situation and help.

 “Votes from the grassroots people bring politicians into power and into government. They must remember us and help us.

“The situation is so bad, we have no food, we have no water and we really need help,” said Gaileko.

Porotona is in the Maramatana LLG in Planning Minister Charles Abel's Alotau electorate.


Villager tells of struggle against El Niño

This is what it has come to for villagers like Gini as El Niño continues to spread destruction in the province.

Loop PNG caught up with Gini as he headed to the canteen to buy a small lamp and a packet of rice for his journey.

“Tomorrow I will leave at 7am with my wife and my small brother to the Oyapopo mountains. It will take us about one whole day of walking to get there.

“We will stay the weekend clearing land at the foot of the mountains where it is much cooler and plant corn, pumpkin, watermelon and hope it grows,” said Gini.

Villagers in Milne Bay: We are starving

What was once the Huhuna waterfall is now nothing. The mighty Deledele river has been reduced to just a small pool of water. Most rivers have run completely dry.

Many markets have closed and gardens are turning out damaged taros and cassavas from the scorching heat.

Locals at every village told the same story of the everyday struggle to survive.

Pastor Derek Gneiding said the people simply didn’t know where to go and what to do.

Climate change models too simplistic - report

According to a multi-agency study published this week in Nature Geoscience the predicted increase of severe El Nino and La Nina events will bring increased storm events with extreme coastal flooding and erosion across the Pacific.

Patrick Barnard from the US Geological Survey says other studies have analysed coastal impacts at local and regional levels but this is the first to look at patterns for the whole of the Pacific.

El Nino and La Nina will exacerbate coastal hazards across entire Pacific

According to a multi-agency study published today in Nature Geoscience: "This study significantly advances the scientific knowledge of the impacts of El Niño and La Niña," said Patrick Barnard, USGS coastal geologist and the lead author of the study. "Understanding the effects of severe storms fueled by El Niño or La Niña helps coastal managers prepare communities for the expected erosion and flooding associated with this climate cycle."

Fears El Niño could hamper FSM's typhoon recovery

The category five system tore through the states of Yap and Chuuk in March, killing five people, contaminating water supplies and wiping out crops.

Stuart Simpson says the IOM and the government has spent the past six months trying to restore crops on islands that bore a direct hit from Maysak, and these are only starting to produce food.

However, he says an El Niño that is predicted to be one of the worst in decades could bring a drought that will bring them back to step one, and they need to be prepared.

UN urges Pacific governments to prepare for El Nino impact

The UN resident coordinator in Fiji, Osnat Lubrani, says it is expected to rival the 1997 El Nino which is the most severe on record.

Ms Lubrani says drought problems currently being experienced around parts of the region are just the beginning.

She says governments need to start raising awareness in communities and preparing national emergency plans.

UN issues stark warning on Pacific drought threat

The UN's Resident Coordinator, Osnat Lubrani, says communities and governments need to prepare now for the extreme weather changes El Niño usually triggers.

He says some countries are already implementing or drafting drought plans and the UN is ready to help co-ordinate this and to provide technical advice.

Over the coming months, countries on the equator can expect more rain, flooding and higher sea levels, presenting challenges for low-lying atolls already feeling the impacts of climate change.