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‘Take El Niño condition seriously,’ says Palau’s Remengesau

Environment

‘Take El Niño condition seriously,’ says Palau’s Remengesau

Palau President Tommy Remengesau urged residents and citizens of Palau to take the El Niño condition “seriously” and start conserving water.

Since December 2015, the Pacific has experienced an El Niño event that is among the three strongest on record.

El Niño is already wreaking havoc in other Pacific islands. Dry conditions caused droughts in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Papua New Guinea.

During a press conference Wednesday, Remengesau said El Niño is “a serious threat” in the region and Palau should brace itself for its impact.

The effects of El Niño in Palau are being felt with less rain and several bush fires occurring around the island nation.

Remengesau also noted that Palau’s water reservoir despite the scattered rains in the last few months has not helped increase the water level.

He said the states of Peleliu, Angaur, Ngaraard and Ngarchelong are now experiencing water shortage due to depletion of water supply in wells.

Lack of rainfall also is starting to impact the vegetation in the Rock Islands as most of it has turned brown.

Earlier Maria Ngemaes, director of the Bureau of Weather Services in a press conference, said that although Palau is experience the El Niño, it is predicted that the effects will not be as large as the impacts in 1998.

“It is not going to be as devastating,” Ngemaes said. “It is going to improve, slowly. It is getting better.”

She noted that the Palau’s sea temperature is getting warmer but there are no reports of devastating effects to the corals.

With January, February and March considered the driest months, Ngemaes said that after March, the El Niño effects in Palau will have had improved.

The El Niño phenomenon, occurring every few years and caused by unusual warming of the Pacific Ocean, triggers heavy rains and floods in South America and dry, scorching weather in Asia and East Africa, and usually lasts about one year

Source: Marianas Variety – ‘Take El Niño condition seriously,’ says Palau’s Remengesau

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