Tuvalu News


February 13, 2006

TIDC--The most extreme high tides on record could hit the tiny Pacific island country of Tuvalu at the end of February, 2006.

The highest point of land on Tuvalu's capital island, Funafuti Atoll, is about 3.7 metres above
mean high tide. The highest point of land in the nine island country is about 4.5 metres above mean high tide.

In a 2004 report, Australian scientists working on the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate
Monitoring Project warned that "the highest predicted level (3.24 m) over the period 1990 to 2016 will be reached at 17:26 Local Time on the 28th February 2006". (3.26pm Brisbane time)

Brisbane-based journalist, Dr Mark Hayes, will be on Funafuti Atoll to report on this extreme high tide event, and Tuvalu's responses to the grave threats the country faces from global warming and sea level rise, from February 19 to March 5, 2006.

While quite accurate predictions can be made about likely tide heights, amplified by a new
moon later on the night of February 28, 2006, likely weather conditions around Tuvalu can only be predicted out to about three days. (http://informet.net/tuvmet/fcast_ngfu.html)

At the end of January, 2006, with slightly lower but still extreme high tides and a rising new
moon, Tuvalu experienced the highest January tides on record, with extensive local flooding
and local damage reported around Funafuti Atoll even though the local weather was fine and mild, with 5 - 15 knot winds from the North West.

If the weather around Tuvalu is bad at the end of February, or if a cyclone is menacing the
country, Funafuti and Tuvalu generally could be facing a widespread flooding disaster.

This is Dr Hayes' third working visit to Tuvalu and Funafuti Atoll.In March, 2005, he reported on Tuvalu's situation in an extensive text and pictures feature on the leading Tuvalu Web Site, Tuvaluislands.com (http://www.tuvaluislands.com).

Dr Hayes has radio and television current affairs reporting and producing experience. He will be equipped with a laptop computer, a MiniDisk recorder kit, and digital video and audio
cameras. Internet access from Tuvalu will be available through the Government Information
Technology Office on Funafuti Atoll.

Dr Hayes invites media organisations to contact him prior to his Brisbane departure on 16/2/06 to organise media coverage from Funafuti while he is there.

TuvavluIslands.com will be publishing some exclusive text and photographs provided by Dr. Hayes and some of his colleagues.

PH: (07) 3870 3456 E-mail: mahayes@dovenetq.net.au

Funafuti telephone contacts available via the above contact details.


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