New Ireland hit with dry spell

National, Normal

The National- Monday, January 17, 2011


NEW IRELAND has been without rain since last December and the place is now very dry with water tanks running out of water and rivers drying up. 

“There has been absolutely no rain at all, only a few droplets but after that it is all sunny and hot again. 

“There was a bit of rain during the Christmas period, and then it stopped for good into the New Year. 

“This is the case for both Kavieng and Namatanai,” New Ireland administration media officer and Sea Web International representative Mary Tulasoi told The National from Kavieng. 

“I was in my village, of Pire (east coast) in the Namatanai area, for the Christmas and New Year break and I could see the effects of La Nina.

“Water tanks have run out of water and people are now looking for clean drinking water.

“Because of the dry season, the rivers are kind of dusty and not good for people to drink from so 

they have to travel further into the jungles to get good drinking water coming out of rocks,” she said.

“Currently, here in Kavieng town, almost all rainwater tanks have run out of water and people 

are now using the town’swater supply.”

She said everywhere else in New Ireland she was receiving similar reports from people saying that there 

was nothing they could do except to preserve as  much fresh water they could find.

National Weather Service (NWS) acting director Jimmy Gomoga said earlier last week that the New Guinea Islands region, at this time of the year, usually experienced dry spells as the monsoon trough or Inter-tropical convergence zone moved further down south over Australia’s northern Queensland. 

“The tropical depression is also part of the reason why NGI is dry,” Gomoga said. 

“This system has pulled in all the moisture in the atmosphere towards the southern parts of the country and over northern Queensland,” he added.

He also said La Nina conditions continued to remain firm across the tropical Pacific, though the majority of long-range models surveyed by the NWS suggested this event may be near its peak. 

With a gradual decline likely, it was expected that the current La Nina event would persist through the first quarter of 2011, Gomoga said.