Caraga islands, shorelines sinking due rising sea water level

by Ben Serrano

     January 21, 2011


            BUTUAN CITY (AFP) - Shorelines in coastal areas in Caraga Region were slowly submerged by seawater because of rising seawater level thus shores slowly disappearing, claimed two non-government organizations involved in climate change adaptations and disaster preparedness initiatives.


            Botanist Teresa "Tet" Bordadera of NGO Green Coalition said they observed shores along coastlines in three Caraga provinces Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Norte were slowly disappearing as rising seawaters  already eating up shores by as long as 30 to 50 meters, the shortest ten meters saying some residents then living coastlines had to relocate houses.


            Bordadera claimed that they fear few years from now if the rising seawater level trend continued, said coastal areas including smaller Caraga Islands will sink and will be wiped out eventually from the map.


            Surigao del Sur province where most of the coastal areas are facing Pacific Ocean and holds the distinction as a province having the longest shorelines is now very active in Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Initiatives.


            The lady botanist who called this writer for an exclusive interview on her way to Davao City this afternoon claimed in the initial studies they made at least five smaller islands in Caraga Region that are facing Pacific Ocean already sank or submerged by rising seawater level.


            It can be recalled that a group of Filipino artists and individuals calling themselves Tiktok For Climate Change Action also claimed islands in Surigao provinces are already sinking.


            Artist Ping Medina who is one of the officials of TikTok who was here in Caraga Region last December and attended forum on Climate Change at Philippine Gateway Hotel and Convention in Surigao City claimed specifically cited Gigaquit town and surfing capital General Luna’s shores are fast disappearing.


            Medina advises local government units of said town to come up with fast and effective solution before rising seawater levels will destroy lives and properties in the days to come.


            Speaking before some 20 local government unit officials and representatives at climate forum last December 2010, Medina told LGU officials and personnel that at the rate shorelines or islands being covered by salt waters affected communities should now get involved with government empowering them how to cope up with the situation.


            Both Medina and Bordadera cited what happened to Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean where lands in that island country are now being submerged by seawaters


            The two also cited situation of some island states in the World whose atolls were now slowly submerged by rising seawater level.


            “And because their atolls were now submerged by ocean waters, it will now be hounded by many legal issues, their source of potable waters are being contaminated by salt waters, their livelihood affected and the future of their children become uncertain” Bordadera added.


            Bordadera concludes that more than ever in the country’s history and that of mankind than now is the time to put acts together to save humanity and unite in the dire need to preserve country’s remaining forests and ecology than just waiting for sea waters to rise and rise every minute of the day.(AFP/Ben Serrano)


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