Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Marshall Islands declares state of disaster

Friday May 10, 2013 - 18:17 EST
ABC image
Local forecasters don't foresee any rainfall in Marshall Islands until September. - ABC

Marshall Islands has declared a state of disaster in the island nation's north due to prolonged drought.

The decision was made this week after United Nations assessment teams found approximately 10,000 people have so far been affected.

They say there is not enough clean drinking water, food gardens are dying from lack of water, and there are concerns about the spread of disease and illness.

Marshall Islands' Foreign Minister, Phillip Muller, told Radio Australia's program after more than three months of very little rain, relief from the drought is not expected until later this year.



"The latest we've heard from the forecasters is that this drought will continue into probably September or even later than that," he said.

Mr Muller says a US government team is working with the UN assessors on the ground evaluating the priorities for assistance.

"They have been mobilised and taken to the outer islands to see for themselves what is the situation," he said.

"But our own disaster people have made an assessment and it's quite dire at this time."

Mr Muller says problems with water supplies caused by salt intrusion from rising sea levels have been exacerbated by the drought, and its effects will be felt for some time to come.

"We're talking about Marshall Islands needing assistance for quite a while yet," he said.

"It look like all the forecasts do not seem to see any rain in the near future."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

More breaking news

ABC News
Sydney Morning Herald
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Valentine's Day should turn up the heat

12:59 EDT

For those seeking the perfect weather for the perfect date this Valentine's weekend, Australian capital cities seem sure to share the love! Brisbane and Darwin will be hot and steamy as per usual, expecting a maximum temperature into the low 30s on both days.

Tropical Cyclone Tatiana intensifies, may bring dangerous swell to Queensland coast: BoM

12:26 EDT

Queensland's first cyclone of the season poses no immediate threat to the coast but may whip up dangerous swells for south-east beaches early next week, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) says.

Cloncurry stormwater mitigation project gets $800K amid hopes of more housing development

12:21 EDT

The Cloncurry Shire Council in north-west Queensland has received more than $800,000 in State Government funding to address the town's stormwater drainage issues.