High Tide and Storm Surge Floods Marshall Islands

A storm surge combined with a an extreme high tide flooded parts of the Marshall Islands, including the capital Majuro, early on Monday 3 March 2014.

Around 800 people had to evacuate their homes and stay in temporary accommodation. The tide and storm has caused some damage to several homes.

floods marshal islands
Photo: AMBMoses

There have been no reports of any fatalities, however there have been reports that the sotrm and floods have washed sewage and debris aroud the local area. Some reports also say that some coffins have been caught up in the flood waters.

The Marshall Islands are particularly vulnerable to high tides and storm surges. Parts of the Majuro atoll a mere 30cm above sea level. The current storm is a result of a weather system east of Japan that is generating swells that first hit the Marshall Islands late on Sunday night. The atoll experiences its annual cycle of king tides this time of year. Flooding is always likely to occur when the king tides coincide with storm surges.

The Marshall Islands is about halfway between Australia and Hawaii and consists of 29 atolls and coral islands, all of which stand on average just 2 metres above sea level. In August last year, the president, Christopher Loeak, said “The Pacific is fighting for its survival. Climate change has already arrived,” and warned that low-lying atolls in the Pacific including Solomons, Tuvalu and the Carteret Islands, are close to becoming uninhabitable as a result of rising sea levels and increasingly severe floods, droughts and storm surges.

Marshall Islands from the air shows just how vulnerable the area is to sea level rises. Photo: laurala @ twitter.com
Marshall Islands from the air shows just how vulnerable the area is to sea level rises. Photo: laurala @ twitter.com

Floods and two tropical depressions recently hit the Pacific island nation of Fiji, forcing hundred to evacuate.

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Sources: Island Business;

2 thoughts on “High Tide and Storm Surge Floods Marshall Islands

  1. A coral island surrounded by a healthy sea will keep adding sand to the island and keep up with sea level rise. That won’t help a building as the sand will fill it as the island grows. However, two effects of climate change could change all this. If the sea becomes too acid or too warm, the corals will die and the island is doomed. Also there are a number of things the local population can do and in many areas are doing that will doom their islands. http://mtkass.blogspot.co.nz/2011/09/by-by-coral-atolls.html

    1. Richard Davies - FloodList

      - Edit

      Many thanks for your thoughtful and informative reply. It’s very much appreciated.

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