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Tuvalu declares water emergency

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New Zealand's defence services were flying to Tuvalu armed with supplies including two desalination units

New Zealand's defence services were flying to Tuvalu armed with supplies including two desalination units

New Zealand's defence services were flying to Tuvalu armed with supplies including two desalination units

The tiny Pacific island nation of Tuvalu has declared a state of emergency because of a severe shortage of fresh water.

New Zealand's foreign minister Murray McCully said water was scarce in the capital Funafuti, as well as in a number of outlying islands.

A New Zealand defense service C-130 plane has arrived carrying two desalination units and a number of water containers, Mr McCully said.

Tuvalu - a grouping of low-lying coral atolls that is home to less than 11,000 people - is not the only Pacific island running out of fresh water after six months of low rainfall.

Officials from Australia and New Zealand have said they are worried about other islands in the region, including Tokelau.

Mr McCully said his government would work with aid agencies to try and figure out a long-term response to the situation.

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