Republic of the Marshall Islands
In Majuro (population 27,797), a total of 70 homes were damaged in varying degrees, from complete destruction to minor damage. The total number of evacuees peaked at 940 on Monday 3 March, although many people have since returned home. There are currently 160 people still displaced who have been relocated to churches in Uliga and Rita. Schools have reopened and clean-up efforts are underway. The Government is continuing assessments and providing water, food and hygiene items, with the support of Marshall Islands Red Cross Society (MIRCS), International Organization for Migration (IOM) and local donations.
The outer islands of Mili, Maloelap, Kili and Wotje were also affected, with severe impacts to Arno. In Arno Atoll (population 1,794), an initial assessment of four villages has identified 370 people (47 households) affected or 88 per cent of the villages' total population (419), with many sheltering in schools. Most of the impact is to the northeast of the atoll, particularly Tinak, Lonar, Kilane and Malel. All roads are blocked by debris and one school in Longar is damaged. There are no reports of injuries, however Tinak Health Centre was completely destroyed, and Malel and Kilange Health Centres are low on medical supplies. Most breadfruit, pandanus and banana trees have been destroyed, and shops have lost all food stock. Many household water catchments are damaged and community tanks contaminated. Around 80 per cent of sanitation facilities are affected, with sewage reported in some locations. A boat will deploy to Arno tomorrow 8 March with medical personnel and supplies, including food, water, hygiene kits and reverse osmosis units. On Monday 10 March, a landing craft will travel to the atoll with heavy equipment to clear roads.
The Government is managing the response and has not sought international assistance. The National Disaster Committee is leading the relief and assessment process with the support of Government Ministries, MIRCS, IFRC, and IOM. The UN has offered the technical assistance of the Pacific Humanitarian Team, and the Government is in discussions with donor partners, including the United States and Australia.
The tidal surges also caused damage to five islands in Kiribati. Most of the impact is to Marakei Atoll (population 2,872), with approximately 44 homes damaged and evacuees sheltering in community halls. There is also damage to sea walls and causeways on the main island, Tarawa. Access to clean drinking water is a key concern as groundwater sources have been contaminated. The Government has requested the support of Kiribati Red Cross Society in carrying out initial damage assessments. A state of emergency and international assistance will be decided once assessments are complete.
For further information, please contact: Elisabeth McLeod, Public Information Officer, OCHA Regional Office for the Pacific, firstname.lastname@example.org, +679 999 1423
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