22 Jan 2015

Marshalls hit by flooding from king tides

8:27 pm on 22 January 2015

A king tide has caused widespread flooding in the capital of Majuro and at least four remote outer islands in the Marshall Islands.

Locals are being warned there could be more seawater flooding over the next week.

A six-day forecast for possible wave inundation in Majuro Atoll shows that high tides at the end of the week and over the weekend could see flooding, particularly if there are any storm surges or high winds in combination with the high tides.

Marshall Islands Coastal Management Extension Agent Karl Fellenius says the reason the weekend's risk of flooding is higher is due to predicted wave swells from the northeast.

Acting Chief Secretary Justina Langidrik says they've received reports from the remote islands of Kili, Utrik and Ailuk of inundation from the high tide, and were provided photos of flooding on Mejit, though they have not received an official report.

Ms Langidrik says there are no reported injuries, but some people's homes were flooded and some were evacuated to school buildings.

In Majuro there are no reports of damage aside from large volumes of debris blocking some roads.

Police, Public Works and Local Government heavy equipment operators remain on standby.

Marshall Islands, boat, water, night, wharf

A boat sitting at night in water in the Marshall Islands Photo: RNZI