13 March, 2015
ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
The islands of Tuvalu have been severely hampered by storm and huge surges caused by Tropical Cyclone Pam. Over the past two days, events of serious damages, seawater flooding and inundation have been reported from all the eight outer islands of Tuvalu following strong winds but especially caused by huge waves and storm surges, some 4 to 5 meters higher than the islands. A full survey of the damages will be carried out as soon as the weather improves.
Although no human injuries and casualties have been reported, yet, some whole island settlements have been totally flooded requiring emergency evacuation, relocation, and help to the affected residents.
This morning a State of Emergency was declared by Governor General, Sir Iakoba I Taeia, for one week effective as from today. The Government, assisted by the Tuvalu Disasters Preparedness Coordination Committee, and in collaboration with all stakeholders, is monitoring the situation closely. Help will be mobilized as and when appropriate, and the international community informed.
Public services on all islands have also been asked to remain alert and vigilant.
Implications of the situation on the holding of general elections scheduled for March 19, 2015 are being closely assessed by the Government. The public will be duly informed of further developments ……Ends