OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Papua New Guinea - Floods and High tides
The source of this situation report is the information received from the United Nations Resident Coordinator's office in Papua New Guinea prepared by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Disaster Focal Point, in addition to media reports.
1. Continuous heavy rains over recent weeks combined with extraordinary high and low tides are reported to have caused rivers to rise and widespread destruction in central and southern parts of the island. The village in Vito in Central Bougainville is virtually destroyed; several other villages in Southern Bougainville have been severely impacted with heavy crop damage around rivers. One death has been reported to date.
2. Papua New Guinea has recently experienced extraordinary tides both high and low, which are affecting all coastal provinces and most islands. The high tide will peak at 2.8 meters on 19 August. In addition to the inundation by high tides, the fear of salinization of soil in the coastal area is indicated. Prior to the high tides, the ocean retreated a considerable distance, causing panic by people fearing a tsunami.
3. The Government has not requested international assistance. The UNICEF Officer based in Arawa and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Officer based in Buka are monitoring the situation.
4. OCHA is in close contact with the UN Resident Coordinator in Port Moresby. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int.
Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23/06 28
In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10
Mr. Masaaki Nakagawa, direct Tel. +41-22-917-4034
(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel.
+41-22-917 26 53
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-917 892 16 79
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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