Waves pushed by storm winds Tuesday afternoon flooded parts of Majuro, damaging seawalls and structures located close to the lagoon shore. There were no reports of injuries, but a peak high tide for the month was driven over shorelines facing south by gusting winds of a storm that developed earlier in the day.
“It was really rough,” said Ejit Island resident Alson Kelen. “This normally doesn’t happen this time of year.”
Weather officials on Saturday predicted the likelihood of “some inundation” around times of high tides through Tuesday, and the forecast was correct as for several days at high tide, small inundations were seen at various locations around Majuro. But Tuesday’s sudden storm multiplied the threat, causing waves kicked up inside the normally placid lagoon to roll several hundred feet into Ejit Island’s interior and slam Uliga and Rita shorelines.
“Last year we had ‘westerly’ storms,” said Kelen. “This year, we are having inundation that we usually don’t see this time of the year. It’s a wake up call: expect the unexpected.”
Historically, late January and late February are the peak high tide periods in the Marshall Islands.
Since Sunday, other parts of Majuro Atoll have experienced moderate ocean flooding that dumped garbage and rocks onto main roads, slowing or temporarily halting vehicular traffic.
Read more about this in the October 21, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.