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UN Agency Says Pacific Islanders Among First 'Climate Change Refugees'

The United Nations says that some 100 villagers in the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu have been forced to relocate because of rising seas, becoming one of the world's first examples of "climate change refugees."

Officials with the United Nations Environmental Program said Tuesday that locals on Tegua island in the northern part of the archipelago completed their move inland in August.

Officials said more frequent flooding and accelerating erosion in recent years has routinely damaged houses and boosted waterborne diseases in the population.

The executive director of the U.N. agency said the rising sea levels and storm surges in Vanuatu are the first manifestation of global changes that eventually will touch everyone.