12 Mar 2015

Collapsed causeway in Kiribati affects schools, business

6:43 pm on 12 March 2015

Government ministries, businesses and schools are being affected by the near collapse of part of a causeway in Kiribati.

The Nippon Causeway, which links the two most populated parts of Tarawa atoll, Betio and Bairiki, was closed yesterday.

The government communications officer, Rimon Rimon, says strong winds, waves, and heavy rainfall contributed to a portion of the causeway almost collapsing on Wednesday.

He says public works officials worked overnight to open the causeway early this morning, but only one lane is open, and it's restricted to vehicles which weigh less than two tonnes.

"People in government commuting to work has been affected, also the school children are being affected. Not only the damaged part of the causeway, other parts of the causeway have been also damaged, and it's causing travelling or commuting on the causeway very difficult."

Rimon Rimon says some schools have been closed as a result, and the ministry of public works is aiming to have the causeway back to normal by tomorrow.

Causeway connecting Bairiki and Betio in Tarawa, Kiribati

Causeway connecting Bairiki and Betio in Tarawa, Kiribati Photo: RNZI Walter Zweifel