Pacific El Niño officially over, say meteorologists

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The Australian Bureau of Meteorology says El Niño has ended for the Pacific as the tropical Pacific Ocean returns to a neutral Southern Oscillation state. Sea surface temperatures across the tropical Pacific have cooled to neutral levels over the past fortnight supported by much cooler waters beneath the surface. In the atmosphere, indicators such as the trade winds, cloudiness near the International Date Line, and the Southern Oscillation Index, have also returned to neutral levels. A La Niña is likely to be experienced during the southern winter (June to August). This normally means much heavier rain for Vanuatu. Aspects of El Niño further to our west, following the Pacific El Niño event, have seen drought in Australia and southern Africa and presently huge rains and flooding in China and Sri Lanka.

Energy Minister Ham Lini has said that the Efate rural electricity network will continue past Paunagisu. Onesua and Takara will also receive the Unelco power supply and some of the electricity generated will return to Port Vila. We reported the first step in the chain earlier this week. The Government opened Undine Bay Sola Farm of Unelco on Monday. PM Salwai led the delegation which saw the start of the Paunagisu supply. High and low power is supplied. The project is in line with the National Energy Roadmap. 65% renewable energy is promised by 2020. (Radio Vanuatu)

The Ministry of Health says that no case of the mosquito borne disease zika has been confirmed in Vanuatu. Rumours have been circulating concerning the disease within the country, however the Ministry’s testing has given only negative results so far. (Daily Post)

A student is suspected in the Luganville arson case, Daily Post headlines today. He is being held in custody until June 10 when there will be a preliminary hearing. A shop was reportedly destroyed by fire on May 17 early in the morning.