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State of emergency declared in Marshall Islands
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15:45, December 29, 2008

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A state of emergency has been declared in Marshall Islands in the wake of flooding that displaced hundreds of islanders and damaged dozens of homes in the two urban centers, Radio New Zealand International reported on Monday.

Earlier this month, the Pacific island nation was pounded on three separate days by high waves caused by storm surges that coincided with high tides.

Many homes were destroyed and at least 600 people were displaced and sought refuge in government-designated shelters, churches, and with family members.

In Papua New Guinea, United Nations disaster officials were in the country to identify aid assistance to some 32,000 victims of severe sea swells that struck the northern shoreline and neighboring islands.

Caused by a low depression in the Pacific Ocean off Guam and New Caledonia, the swell affected five provinces - East Sepik, Madang, Manus, Morobe and New Ireland - as well as the autonomous region of Bougainville.

The swells destroyed houses, food and water supplies, damaged crops and led to the loss of gardening tools.


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