Pacific island of Palau in Water crisis
The drought-stricken Pacific island of Palau could dry up completely this month.
Officials sounded the alarm on Monday and appealed for urgent aid from Japan and Taiwan, including shipments of water.
The tiny country of about 18,000 people declared a state of emergency last month, the latest Pacific island nation to do so as one of the worst ever El Nino-induced droughts in the region worsens. El Nino-induced droughts are also responsible for almost unprecedented lack of rain in many countries and and down the eastern and southern coast of Africa.
"We're still in the state of emergency, there's a sense of urgency to address the crisis," a government spokesman told AFP.
"Based on the current water level and usage rates, and assuming conditions persist unabated, a total water outage is likely to occur in the next two to three weeks," a government committee said.
Access to tap water is already rationed to three hours a day or less in Palau. It is unclear how the island's resort hotels and other tourism assets will be impacted.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said last month the El Nino weather pattern -- associated with a sustained period of warming in the central Pacific which can spark climate extremes -- was unlikely to ease before the second half of the year.
The Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia have also declared states of emergency, while Guam and the Northern Marianas are experiencing low rainfall.