Kiribati

Pacific young people discuss natural disasters at Japan summit

The Pacific students are among 210 young people from 43 countries attending the summit along with over 200 Japanese youths.

Japan was hit with a deadly tsunami in March 2011 following a magnitude nine earthquake off the country's east coast.

At least 20,000 people died in the disaster.

Noriko Tanaka, from the Japanese Embassy in Wellington, said it was important for the youth to learn about tsunamis and share their knowledge with their communities when they return home.

Good weather mitigates king tide damage in Kiribati

Kiribati Climate Action Network's Pelenise Alofa said she's thankful there was no wind or storm surge to drive it over seawalls and into properties.

People on Tarawa and other islands have been working all week to build up seawalls in preparation for the inundation, Ms Alofa said.

However, not everyone can afford new cement to protect their properties, she said.

The KiriCAN national co-ordinator said she had been up all night preparing for the tide but will soon go out to check on others around Tarawa.

Anger in Kiribati over unreleased report on ferry disaster

The inter-island vessel sank in January this year on a trip from Nonouti to Tarawa, claiming at least 80 lives.

The government this week told parliament a commission of inquiry report will not be made public as they had just announced a police investigation into some of those allegedly involved in the sinking.

Nonouti MP, Sir Ieremia Tabai, who is a former president of Kiribati, said the police inquiry is no excuse for not making the report public.

Kiribati MPs yet to see report on ferry tragedy

The president was responding to a question by Sir Ieremia Tabai, the MP of Nonouti, from where the vessel had departed.

More than 80 people died when the ferry sank at the end of January this year.

Sir Ieremia said MPs had previously been told the report should be ready before the current sitting of parliament.

President Taneti said the delay was due to the sudden illness of the commission's chairman, and he now expected the report before the next parliament meeting in December.

Anote Tong says cutting emissions won't save Kiribati

Mr Tong is visiting New Zealand to promote a film called Anote's Ark which portrays the frightening climate change reality that his people face.

He said even if the most ambitious targets for reducing global carbon emissions are met Kiribati and other islands like Tuvalu and Tokelau could still be swamped by the sea.

MV Butiraoi did not comply with own safety plan

The Pacific Community's ship safety audit adviser Omirete Tabureka said the MV Butiraoi had been using a safety management system introduced with the Pacific Islands Domestic Ship Safety Programme in 2010.

The system uses safety operational plans, known as SOPs, which provide a set of requirements for a vessel's operation, including the minimum number of life-vests and life-boats, VHF radio and electronic locator beacons.

Mr Tabureka said the Butiraoi was due for a safety audit last year but it was apparent its SOP was no longer in use.

Kiribati reports highest number of HIV cases in study

The People Living with HIV Stigma Index Study has recorded a total of 28 people from Kiribati with HIV.

The other Pacific nations in the study are the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa and Palau.

Regional co-ordinator of the study, Jokapeci Tuberi Cati, said out of the 28 cases in Kiribati, only five people were interviewed and monitored taking their anti-retroviral treatment.

Kiribati announces Commission of Inquiry into ferry tragedy

The nation is in three days of mourning for those thought to have perished at sea after the ferry left on a journey from the island of Nonouti to the capital Tarawa three weeks ago.

President Taneti Maamau declared a public holiday "as a solemn day of remembrance and to honour those who have lost their lives in this tragedy."

The official mourning period started yesterday.

The Kiribati government said the inquiry would carry out "fact-finding missions" and "comprehensive investigations".

Help sent for people traumatised by Kiribati ferry disaster

An aerial search for the catamaran has been called off and least 80 people remain missing, many of them children.

Kiribati is said to be traumatised by the event and UNICEF and the World Health Organisation say they're working to support the government in the emergency medical response.

They're providing medical supplies and training and the WHO is deploying extra emergency staff.

UNICEF says it’s working to support schools, families and communities to deal with the tragedy and get back to a normal routine.

Kiribati suspends aerial search for sunken ferry passengers

Maritime New Zealand this morning confirmed the directive which came through the Rescue Coordination Centre in Nadi in Fiji.

Maritime New Zealand's Vince Cholewa says authorities in Kiribati say they will be continuing with several vessels involved in their ocean search.

Mr Cholewa says they will be focusing on the area around where the MV Butiraoi is believed to have gone down with around 88 men, women and children on board.

He says they will also be tracking back along the route the catamaran is believed to have taken from its last port of call at Nonouti Island.