Population of a Tuvalu atoll displaced by flooding
Entire population of Tuvalu's Nui atoll forced into temporary accommodation after flooding.
The entire population of Tuvalu's Nui atoll is living in temporary accommodation after flooding due to Cyclone Pam.
Low lying Tuvalu has been signficantly affected by the cyclone and associated high tides but Nui atoll was the worst hit.
There are more than 500 people on the island and the local representative of the International Federation of the Red Cross says tents and other supplies are needed.
Olioliga Iosua told Don Wiseman what happened on Nui.
OLIOLIGA IOSUA: Nui was flooded by sea water and the flood waters came up to the head level. It came up that high. I think a metre plus.
DON WISEMAN: All of the islands of Tuvalu are low lying aren't they, so the water just runs right across, doesn't it?
OI: Yeah that is right. With Nui the waves came from the ocean side and the lagoon side. It is unusual. The waves came from both sides. That is why the water was so high on the island.
DW: And what has happened to the residents on Nui?
OI: Right now at the moment they are staying in community halls, primary school buildings. Some are at a church - they are all crowded there.
DW: How many people?
OI: The population on the island is 541.
DW: If all the water's been polluted, what are they doing for water?
OI: Yeah well that is our concern, so what we did we assisted the government by providing our jerry cans, of ten litres per can, fill them up with water and send them to the island on the boat.
DW: OK and that water has arrived on the island now?
OI: Yeah the water is on the island but the projection - it will only last for two weeks so we are planning to have other runs of water to the island until the tanks have been cleaned up and filled with [clean] water.
DW: What is it that you would like to see happen from this point and what sort of assistance do you need from international donors?
OI: Well for us Tuvalu Red Cross we need funds, financial assistance, as well as other things like tarpaulins, blankets, and medicine - family packs, because the people on the island of Nui do not have anything at all. They just go by themselves [to the temporary shelter] but their things at home have all been washed away. So we really need to have some relief as such for the people on the island. I was asked by the committee to assist the people of Nui by communicating with donor partners of the IFRCs to assist with home shifts. I haven't seen a home shift but I think it refers to tents where people can be staying in there, because they are too crowded in these community halls and they need to be on their own, so we need to have these home shifts for the displaced families on the island - not only on Nui but some other islands too.
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