1 Mar 2006

Highest tides in thirty years cause flooding in Tuvalu

11:31 am on 1 March 2006

An Australian journalist, Dr Mark Hayes, says Tuvalu has experienced its highest tides in almost 30 years.

Dr Hayes, a lecturer at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, was on Funafuti atoll when the 3.2 metre high swells occured and caused flooding in low lying areas.

He says the water just started bubbling up from the ground.

"Police and disaster people are cruising up and down the roads, and keeping an eye on things and a few roads have been blocked off. Its just a bit weird well rather very weird actually cos I have never seen seawater bubbling up from the ground to flood an island."

Dr Hayes,who is in Tuvalu doing research on global warming and climate change, says the north of Funafuti near the port complex was the worst hit by flooding.