Migrant Lives

Fiji Flooded, Island Exodus In The Era Of Climate Change

Rising sea levels are already forcing thousands of South Pacific residents to leave their homes. But what happens when an entire country has to relocate?

SUVA — Mary Meita is on the first floor of a white building in Suva, the capital of Fiji. The 33-year-old looks through the barred window. Rain falls on the courtyard, the street and the palm trees. This is not her land, but it could one day become a new home for her people.

Meita works for the Embassy of Kiribati, a small republic made up of various small islands some 2,000 kilometers away from Fiji, scattered in the middle of the Pacific Ocean — at least for now. How long the nation's tiny atolls and reef islands continue to be inhabitable is an open question.

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