11 Oct 2018

New system to warn of freak waves and storm surges in Tuvalu

7:42 am on 11 October 2018
Tuvalu - tidal surges 16x10

Tidal surges in Tuvalu. Photo: Supplied

A new warning system in Tuvalu is hoped to save people from freak waves and storm surges.

It was developed after Cyclone Pam in 2015, which sent waves rolling across the country's atolls, forcing the evacuation of some 300 people.

The Pacific Community's Mia Ramon said the system is vital for survival on low-lying atolls, with such events forecast to increase with climate change.

"Tuvalu people want to stay home," she said. "And the Tuvaluan Prime Minister is very famous for saying 'If you save Tuvalu, you can save the world'."

"Because Tuvalu represents really where the hardest hit people will be. The lowest lying atolls. And the ones who are the most affected. And we're expecting that these severe weather patterns are just going to increase and multiply over the next few years."