Idyllic though it may appear, a state of emergency has been declared by Tuvalu, one of the smallest countries in the world with a population of only 11000. There has been no rainfall on the islands since the beginning of the year and none is forecast until December at the earliest. It is feared that water supplies will run out tomorrow (Tuesday). Rainfall is the only source of safe drinking water as wells are feared to have been tainted and animal deaths have been blamed on subterranean contamination.
Water supplies from New Zealand have been flown to the country's capital Funafuti, home to about half the country's population and officials will continue to monitor the situation. Drought effects notwithstanding, Tuvalu's position is already precarious with the low lying islands very vulnerable to rises in sea level which could see the islands deluged and ultimately uninhabitable.