Majuro battered by high winds and seas

2:34 pm on 3 July 2015

The main atoll of the Marshall Islands, Majuro, has been battered by high winds and seas this morning, with fishing vessels and yachts breaking off moorings and smashing into jagged reefs.

Our correspondent says the waves caused by a tropical depression have battered the capital's usually placid shores, while the wind has torn off roofs, knocked down trees and caused power outages.

In the lagoon, a longline fishing boat was pushed up the beach, a small cargo vessel broke loose and was being pounded onto rocks while numerous other vessels were being dragged towards shore.

The storm in Majuro has blown yachts moored in the usually placid lagoon onto the shore.

The storm in Majuro has blown yachts moored in the usually placid lagoon onto the shore. Photo: RNZI / Giff Johnson

The owner of the yacht Vanessa, Karen Earnshaw, says the vessel broke its mooring this morning and was now pitching up and down in the maelstrom.

For the first time in 33 years, an annual billfish fishing tournament has been postponed because of the bad conditions, which are expected to ease by Saturday.