Between November 2007 and February 2008, Kosrae experienced high sea levels which caused severe flooding of low-lying land and further coastal erosion, particularly to the south of Malem.
The conditions causing these high sea-levels were not particularly unusual with the flooding and erosion being related to a combination of:
- High astronomical Spring tides that are experienced at this time of year.
- Other astronomical factors that periodically increase tide levels.
- North-east tradewinds that are normal at this time of year.
- Strong La Nina conditions occurring across the Pacific over much of 2007 and early part of 2008. This had the effect of pushing tide levels up higher than normal and also strengthening the north-easterly tradewinds.
- Moderately large (although normal for this time of year) wave conditions coinciding with the high tide levels.