ASIA-PACIFIC REGION: El Niño Snapshot. Case study: Papua New Guinea El Niño preparedness
The last devastating El Niño experienced in PNG in 1997 and 1998 caused a severe reduction in crop yields due to below average rainfall, with up to 80 per cent in many areas. An increased occurrence of frosts were experienced as low as 1,450m above sea level but with most affected areas above 2,200m in the Western Highlands, Southern Highlands and Central Provinces (Allen, 2000). Surveys (Barr, 1999) conducted throughout 1997 found virtually everyone in rural PNG was affected to some extent and an estimated 40 per cent were seriously affected. Analysis from a survey in November-December 1997 found 260,000 people in a critical, life threatening situation and an
addition 1.9 million consuming limited food. Water scarcity was also a problem with 5,000 people in a critical, life threatening situation with extremely limited water supplies and 363,000 people with minimal amounts of poor quality water available.
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