South Pacific

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8 Dead After Cyclone Hits South Pacific Islands

Power is out and 44 more deaths remain unconfirmed

(Newser) - At least eight people were confirmed dead in Vanuatu after a massive cyclone tore through the tiny South Pacific archipelago, and the death toll is likely to rise much higher once communications are restored with outlying islands, aid workers say. Packing winds of 168 miles per hour, Cyclone Pam tore... More »

South Pacific Volcano Erupts, Diverts Flights

Residents flee Papua New Guinea's Mount Tavurvur

(Newser) - Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano still hasn't blown its top, but an eruption is disrupting aviation on the other side of the world: Flights between Australia and Asia have been diverted and an ash cloud could disrupt flight plans further after a major eruption in Papua New Guinea, the AP... More »

WWII Airman Who Crashed in '44 Finally Going Home

Dominick Licari's recently IDed remains to be buried in New York

(Newser) - Dominick Licari will finally be laid to rest beneath the grave marker that has carried his name for nearly 70 years. The World War II airman's bone fragments and dog tags—found last year on the Papua New Guinea mountainside where his plane crashed in 1944—will touch down... More »

Drought Hits Crisis Level in Pacific Islands

Little or no rain in six months on Tuvalu, Tokelau

(Newser) - Some island groups in the South Pacific, already in danger of being swamped by rising seas, have run out of fresh water. Tuvalu and Tokelau have declared states of emergency because of the water crisis, caused by six months of low or no rainfall and by groundwater becoming contaminated with... More »

NASA: Satellite Fell in Remote South Pacific

Scientists think UARS picked the perfect spot

(Newser) - Now that NASA's had time to crunch the numbers regarding last weekend's falling satellite , it has a pretty good idea of where it splashed down—in the middle of nowhere in the South Pacific. The dead UARS craft entered the atmosphere generally above American Samoa, according to the... More »

Bank Heist Stuns Pious Island

Vault may have been secured by a single padlock

(Newser) - The tiny Pacific island getaway of Aitutaki is looking for answers after someone broke into its tiny bank last week and made off with $200,000. The theft has blindsided the nation’s notoriously devout population of about 1,800, which had seen such a thing as unthinkable—the New ... More »

Island Apologizes for Eating Missionary

South Pacific community hosts kin for reconciliation event

(Newser) - In one of the stranger meetings we've seen lately, descendants of a British missionary and the descendants of cannibals who killed and ate him 170 years ago got together yesterday to bury the hatchet. It seems the South Pacific island of Erromango, now predominantly Christian, has been feeling bad about... More »

Indonesia Quake Toll Passes 1,000

Samoa tsunami cleanup effort begins in earnest

(Newser) - The death toll in Indonesia has reached 1,100 and is expected to keep rising. Rescue workers are scrambling to find earthquake survivors under trapped buildings, with "many hundreds more" injured or missing, says a top UN relief official. Rescue efforts have been hung up over a shortage of... More »

Post-Quake Tsunami Kills 34 in Samoa

8.3-magnitude temblor rattles American Samoa

(Newser) - An 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck the area around American Samoa today, generating a tsunami that killed as many as 34 in the US territory and adjacent Samoa, an independent state. The waves at Pago Pago were 5.1 feet above normal—smaller than originally feared— but tsunami warnings went up... More »

US Offers $200M to Send Gitmo Inmates to South Pacific

(Newser) - The US wants to resettle Uighur detainees held at Guantanamo Bay on the Pacific island nation of Palau, the AP reports. Palau, whose eight main islands lie 500 miles east of the Philippines, has strong ties to the US and depends on it for aid and protection. Daniel Fried, the... More »

VJ Day Nurse to Lead Parade

was the iconic image of war's end

(Newser) - The woman who claims to be the lady in white in the iconic Life photograph of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square on V-J Day is being feted this week as grand marshall of tomorrow's Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan, AP reports.  Former nurse Edith Shain, now... More »

Heights, South Pacific Lead Tony Nominations

New musical draws 13 nods for Broadway awards

(Newser) - Nominations for the Tony Awards were announced today, with 13 nods going to In the Heights, a new musical about Latino families in working-class New York that features rap, hip-hop, and salsa music. The revival of South Pacific drew 11 nominations, while August: Osage County drew the most nominations (7)... More »

Island Nation Favors 4-Legged Currency

Vanuatu government encourages trade in shells, tusks, pigs

(Newser) - Vanuatu, a former Anglo-French colony once called the world's happiest country, is de-emphasizing cash in favor of traditional forms of exchange: shells, necklaces, grass mats, and pigs. The Telegraph travels to the South Pacific, where Vanuatu's government decreed a "Year of the Traditional Economy," encouraging citizens to reject... More »

Tsunami Slams Solomon Islands

Island of Gizo said to be "entirely washed away and people are floating in the sea"

(Newser) - A tsunami hit the Solomon Islands early Monday morning, killing at least 12 and stranding thousands more. The 8.1 quake brought huge waves nearly a mile inland in some places. "I'm driving down the street -- there are boats in the middle of the road, buildings have completely... More »

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