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Disasters, Conflicts and Migration

Natural Disasters

Type

Occurs

Comments / Details

Drought

Yes

In 2013 and 2016 RMI experienced drought in some of the Northern Atolls.

Earthquakes

No

n/a

Epidemics

Yes

Hepatitis A, Mumps Periodic outbreaks

Extreme Temperatures

No

n/a

Flooding

Yes

Localised flooding from heavy rain and storm surges and rogue

TyphoonYesSee the following link for more information: 1 Marshall Islands (RMI) Country Profile

Insect Infestation

Yes

n/a

Mudslides

No

n/a

Volcanic Eruptions

No

n/a

High Waves / Surges

Yes

Tsunami affected Majuro in 1915 (source IFRC)

Storm Surges During high wind storm or cyclone events storm surges have inundated low laying areas

Wildfires

No

n/a

High Winds

Yes

Vulnerable to Tropical Cyclones 4 major since 1991

Man-Made Issues

Civil Strife

No

If answer Yes, give an explanation / description.

International Conflict

No

n/a

Internally Displaced Persons

Yes

Permanently displaced people from Bikini Atoll have been resettled in Kili as a result of the Nuclear testing carried out in the Bikini Atoll

Refugees Present

No

Kiribati Nationals try to arrive in RMI in the hope of work and eventually a US Passport.

Landmines / UXO Present

No

n/a

RMI Typical drought affected areas- Norther areas drier than southern Atolls.

For a more detailed database on disasters by country, please see the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters Country Profile.

Seasonal Effects on Logistics Capacity

Seasonal Effects on Transport

Transport Type

Time Frame

Comments / Details

Primary Road Transport

Nov- April

Cyclone season can affect island roads where causeways have been constructed to allow travel between islands. During the Cyclone season high winds associated with high seas and especially king tides can affect causeway access and have caused damage. This damage often results in roads as limited as they are being impassable 

Secondary Road Transport

NA

n/a

Rail Transport

NA

n/a

Air Transport

Yes

Strom and Cyclone season affects scheduled flights. Most Atolls are serviced by air once a week. Larger islands more frequently.

Waterway/ Inter-island  Transport

Yes

Interisland transport from Majuro forms the critical supply link to the outer islands. During the Storm season, November to April, Interisland   transport is affected by high seas which will delay deliveries to Island that are not part of an Atoll i.e  Kili. All Atolls, having a lagoon can, in almost all cases receive vessels for resupply

Seasonal Effects on Storage and Handling

Activity Type

Time Frame

Comments / Details

Storage

All year

The climate in RMI is hot and humid with the central and southern island receiving the most rainfall. The northern islands tend to be drier Climate influences do not severely affect the storage of local goods 

Handling

Nov - April

Cyclone season occurs during this time and although cyclones are not as prevalent in the NE Pacific High Seas with the increase in the easterly tade winds can cause issues with interisland transport. Wetter weather can cause handling issues especially in exposed dock areas and transhipment of goods to smaller tenders when in the Outer Islands.

There are two main seasonal effect Drought as seen in 2016 where northern outer islands can be affected and the cyclone season. While the prepositioning of goods may be a consideration there are certain factors which will affect the viability of this option.

Firstly lack of quality storage. Other than Majuro secure good quality protective storage does not exist on the outer islands. Secondly cultural practices may potentially expose the stores to earlier utilisation than intended unless there is strict decree or buy in from the Iroji (Chief) to protect these good until critical times.

Capacity and Contacts for In-Country Emergency Response

Government

Emergency response operates through the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) in Majuro. While recently established the NDMO provides the coordination and framework for Emergency response. In the case of a natural disaster a state of emergency is declared the cluster system is activated. Outside Major Emergency responses NDMO is also responsible for coordinating Sea Search and Rescue Operations in conjunction with US Coast guard based in Honolulu in the case of an Eperb response signal.   

Military assets based in Kwajalein have been used in the past with responses to the Ebeye and the Kwajalein Atoll. The involvement of the USAG is at the current time limited to this. However there may be a possibility with further communication that USAG could assist in a greater capacity if mechanisms and arrangements are put in place well beforehand.

For more information on government contact details, please see the following link: 4.1 Government Contact List

Humanitarian Community

The international humanitarian community is small and in part operates around the UN Joint Presence office in Majuro. The Joint Presence is made up of UNDP, UNFPA and Unicef. With UNFPA currently in the lead role.

IOM is the major international organisation with a permanent presence and operates programs throughout Majuro and the outer islands. It has by default also undertaken the lead emergency response role as demonstrated in the recent drought whereby they coordinated the supply shipping and distribution of emergency assistance to affected islands. They also supplied RO units for water supply on the outer islands during the drought.

Marshall Islands Red Cross and IFRC are also establishing a more consolidated presence in RMI and currently await their final delegation status. IFRC programs are currently focusing on first responders pertaining to first aid training and aim to have one qualified First Aider in each household in case of emergencies. They are also focusing on training of trainers (in first Aid) as well as planning to embark on establishing an independent radio network throughout the Outer Islands.

There are several smaller Local NGOs providing support to Women’s groups who are strongly supported through local church women’s groups. IOM also supports the groups and their activities.

For more information on humanitarian agency contact details, please see the following link: 4.2 Humanitarian Agency Contact List 

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