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Climate Change blamed for inundation


By: Tosimaeʻa Tupua


American Samoa was cleaning up after storms and tidal surges triggered widespread flooding, with rising seas caused by climate change blamed for the inundation. But it was not just American Samoa that got a beating from Mother Nature, neighboring Samoa, Cook Islands, Hawaii and Fiji all reported flooding, with reports that remote parts of Hawaii were also hit by rising waters.


The people of American Samoa have been made aware of extensive saltwater in-undation across the Territory as a result of ongoing king tides and storm surges," Director of Homeland Security said in a statement. At Fatu ma Futi heading to the east of Tutuila, sea water surged over boulder barriers and covered sections of road all the way to Tula. A staff member of the Weather Bureau told KVZK the flooding was due to a combination of bad weather, high tides, a La Nina weather pattern and a long-term rise in sea levels, widely linked to global warming. The sea level was notably higher on Thursday and no doubt sea levels will continue to rise causing damage to low lying areas and affecting people’s livelihoods.


He said unfortunately with steady sea-level rise, these flooding events will become more frequent, more widespread, and far more severe. We must plan and prepare for this now. The Pacific's low-lying islands are among the countries worst affected by climate change, with some at risk of being swamped entirely by rising seas.


We are also threatened by increasingly powerful cyclones, while droughts and flooding are becoming more common across the region as the weather swings from one extreme to the other.

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