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Tuvalu seeks aid on submerging

February 28, 2004
One News nzoom.com (New Zealand)

The Pacific Island of Tuvalu is appealing for help from industrialised countries claiming they are responsible for rising tides submerging their islands.

Nearly every month the low lying atolls are swamped with sea water during high tide, and locals fear time is running out for their tiny nation.

"It is affecting the food supply of the island the very livelihood of the people," says Prime Minister Saufatu Sopoanga.

Residents are sick of coping with flooded homes and gardens.

The highest point in the county is only four metres above sea level.

Locals blame rising sea levels on global warming brought about by gas emissions in industrialised countries.

The Tuvalu government wants the international community to take responsibility for the island's plight.

"We will continue to appeal to the industrialised countries because we know the global phenomena are a result of industrialised activities," Sopoanga says.

While international scientists are divided over how fast the sea is rising in tuvalu, Hilia Vavae of Tuvalu's meteorological office says her figures show it is increasing by a centimetre a year.

"We not only see it in February and January, we see it in other months like October, November, December, March, April and even May."
 



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