South Pacific isles seek evacuation help

The president of Kiribati, a tiny South Pacific nation, used World Environment Day on Thursday to ask for international help to evacuate his country before it disappears under rising seas.

Speaking in New Zealand, Anote Tong said water supplies were being contaminated and crops destroyed by encroaching salt water. And with its highest land barely 2 metres above sea level, Kiribati has limited scope to adapt.

Now, the Independent reported Tong as saying, his countrymen have no option but to leave. "We may be beyond redemption," he said. "We may be at the point of no return, where the emissions in the atmosphere will carry on contributing to climate change, to produce a sea level change so in time our small, low-lying islands will be submerged."

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