El Nino

Pacific prepares for strengthening EL Nino

“Climatologists are now unanimous in predicting that we are heading for a strong to severe El Niño event in the coming months. Some modelling is now suggesting this El Niño could be as severe as the event in 1997/98 which is the worst on record and brought severe drought to PNG and Fiji,” United Nations Resident Coordinator, Osnat Lubrani said.

El Nino set to be strongest ever

The developing El Nino is stronger than the last major event of its type in 1997.

According to the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the UK Met Office, this El Nino is shaping up to be the strongest since records began in 1950.

El Nino is a natural phenomenon which occurs every two to seven years and lasts between six and 18 months.

Marshall Islands on drought alert

Almost the entire Pacific region is preparing for the onset of what climate forecasters predict could be one of the worst El Niño events since the late 1990s.

Our correspondent in the Marshall Islands, Giff Johnson, says the system has been building all year, with meteorologists there predicting a drought that could last for six to nine months.

He says the last El Niño-related drought in 1997 was devastating.

No Independence celebration for Kandep

Local MP and Opposition leader, Don Polye said his electorate which has been hit by El Nino is currently looking for food to eat.

Kandep was hit hard by the El Nino where the food crops were destroyed by drought and frost.

"How can we hold celebration when my people are hungry," he said.

Meanwhile efforts to deliver relief supplies are ongoing.

PNG copper mine likely shut until Q1 2016 as El Nino set to worsen

The state run firm last week put its mine under 'care and maintenance', the latest example of copper mining around the Pacific rim to be hit by changing weather patterns.

“We don't expect to be up and running until the first quarter. It could be as much as a 7-8 month suspension of operations,” executive manager for marketing Garry Martin told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

El Niño event could be the worst since 1950

Forecasters from the UN's World Meteorological Organisation are also warning the weather phenomenon may gather strength and reach its peak between October and January – with its effects felt for many weeks afterwards.

El Niño events happen every few years when the wind shifts in the Pacific Ocean along the equator.

It can have devastating consequences for agriculture and disease and influences heavy rain in North and South America and higher temperatures in Asia and Africa.


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Solomon Islands Hunters send out warning to PNG Pukpuks


The Solomon Islands Hunters have sent out a warning to the PNG Pukpuks to expect a physical encounter this Sunday in the last round of the 2015 Oceania Rugby Cup.

Disaster assessment team dispatched to Highlands region

Disaster assessment team dispatched to Highlands region

National Disaster Committee (NDC) confirmed today that 1-2 million people are affected nationwide.

The team comprises of officers from the National Disaster Office, PNG Defence Force, PNG Red Cross, NARI and government departments including Works, Health and Agriculture and Livestock.

Chairman of NDC Dickson Guina said another three teams will be deployed this weekend to assess the situation on ground in Momase, New Guinea Islands and Southern region.

The teams will assess the impact of the drought, the capacity of food and water stocks and conduct awareness.

Oro villagers fear for food supplies as drought hits

Provincial DAL adviser Davidson Heune said communities along the coast are affected by the prolonged dry spell which is now running into months.

Heune said a disaster team, which comprises DAL officers, will start visiting villages affected by the drought, starting with coastal communities who are experiencing shortages of both garden foods and water.

Serembe farmer and educationist Clare Saese said the Higaturu area is having problems with water as creeks and water wells are drying up. She said if the situation continues, inland villages will encounter a water shortage.

Kerema hospital scales down operations

Operations have been scaled down and staff are only taking in emergency cases.

Director of Medical Services Michael Kasau says the hospital does not have piped water and depends on rain water.

The hospital has eight 10, 000 litre water tanks but the lack of rain over the last three months has stressed the water supply.