13 Mar 2015

Progress on Kiribati causeway

12:28 pm on 13 March 2015

Progress has been made overnight on repairs on a main causeway in Kiribati that links two of the most populated parts of Tarawa atoll.

Causeway connecting Bairiki and Betio in Tarawa, Kiribati

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

Part of the Nippon Causeway causeway had almost collapsed on Wednesday due to high seas, and a two tonne travel limit had been placed on it for all of Thursday.

The limit affected transportation like school buses, and large trucks and tankers used for fuel and food supplies.

The government communications officer, Rimon Rimon, says public works officials worked overnight to make repairs, and the limit has now been raised to five tonnes.

He says this means school buses have been travelling on the causeway, though the limit will still have some effect on other supplies.

"A lot of that comes from Betio and at the moment it will affect that, but the government is on top of this. They are making an exception to some of the tanker trucks to drop off fuel on the other side of the island. They will be escorted carefully by police over the Nippon Causeway to make sure that they don't get into trouble. The government will continue to see that those services are not affected."

Rimon Rimon says public works officials will continue to work throughout the weekend, to ensure all repairs to the causeway are completed.