25 Jun 2013

High tides and storm combine to flood Marshalls capital

8:36 pm on 25 June 2013

High tides coupled with storm surges flooded Majuro airport's runway today, forcing a United Airlines flight to overfly the Marshall Islands capital.

While some islanders were forced to evacuate their residences until the tides subsided by mid-morning, the local community is preparing for more of the same for the next two days.

Low-lying Majuro Atoll was battered by waves generated by a regional storm that coincided with an exceptionally high tide Tuesday morning.

Roads were temporarily blocked, and island residents and government agencies spent most of the day clearing rocks, coral, garbage and other debris from the roads and backyards.

The Foreign Ministry issued a special notice late Tuesday to all foreign diplomatic personnel on Majuro to alert their citizens in the Marshall Islands to secure their areas to minimize property and crop damage along the south facing shores.

Majuro and four other atolls, including Kwajalein, were put on alert for continuing possible flooding.

A United Airlines official said the regularly scheduled flight for Wednesday was still planned.

There were no reported injuries.