Effects of Natural Disasters on Small Islands

Download Effects of Natural Disasters on Small Islands

Post on 25-Aug-2014

106 views

Category:

Documents

4 download

TRANSCRIPT

TOPICAIMThe aim of this project is to prove whether rising in sea-level and Natural Disasters have anything to do with the size, shape and setting of Qoma Island to date, and to also find out if it has any threats on the Qoma villagers.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTI would like to thank the following persons for their contribution to the accomplishment of this project, for without their assistance, compiling this piece of work would have been unsuccessful:1. The almighty God for giving me knowledge, wisdom and strength which I was able to complete this paper successfully. 2. My parents for their financial support. 3. The elders in my village who response to the questionnaire which was given to them and also to those who were interviewed.METHODOLOGYCertain methods were used for the completion of this project: PRIMARY RESEARCH 1. Interviewing elders in the village about the effects of rising sea-level and natural disaster on Qoma Island. 2. Distribution of the Questionnaire to some elders in the village.SECONDARY RESEARCHRelevant websites were used to search information on the topic.DECLARATIONI Meli Salabogi hereby declare that this paper is original and that any borrowed materials are acknowledged in the bibliography.TABLE OF CONTENTTable of ContentsAIM .......................................................................................................................................................... 3 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ............................................................................................................................. 4 METHODOLOGY ...................................................................................................................................... 5 DECLARATION ......................................................................................................................................... 6 TABLE OF CONTENT ................................................................................................................................ 7 INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................................... 8 BACKGROUND INFORMATION OF QOMA ISLAND ............................................................... 9THE EFFECTS OF NATURAL DISASTERS ON QOMA ISLAND ................................................................... 12 HURRICANE ....................................................................................................................................... 12 FIRE ................................................................................................................................................... 15 TORNADO .......................................................................................................................................... 17 EARTHQUAKE .................................................................................................................................... 19 THE EFFECTS OF RISING SEA-LEVEL ON QOMA ISLAND ........................................................................ 21 ANALYSIS ............................................................................................................................................... 26 CONCLUSION......................................................................................................................................... 28 BIBLIOGRAPHY ...................................................................................................................................... 29 APPENDIX .............................................................................................................................................. 30 Interview Quetions: .......................................................................................................................... 30 Photos: .............................................................................................................................................. 31INTRODUCTIONGlobal warming has become a major world issue. Its effect is now being felt all over the world including the Pacific Region, as in recent news, our South Pacific neighbouring islands and Fiji have shown evidence.The continuous warming up of mother earth due to the depletion or damages of the ozone depletion has lead to the melting of ice bergs from the north and south poles which, contributes tremendously to the amount of sea-level.With everyday passing by and every wave slowly cutting edges of islands creeping silently inside them, most people are oblivious that someday they may have to vacate their current called paradise and move to higher grounds since their land will be under water.Many people are sec with sudden attacks of Natural Disaster thus take with them many life and force actions on those who escape death opening their eyes and thoughts to the possible threats they may face everytime one attacks. A very good example would be the 8.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the coast of Japan forcing Tsunami followed by aftershocks which killed thousands of people.In this project, research, study and analysis will be focused on Qoma Island. Investigations regarding global warming effects will be conducted on the islanders to find if Qoma have so far faced threats of vacating their island.BACKGROUND INFORMATION OF QOMA ISLANDQoma is a hypsographic a scientific name for island consists of two main piece of land which is now three. Her early settlers known to have come straight from Vuda exploring the Interior of Viti Levu before finally settled on Qoma Island.From 70 inhabitants in the early 1900s to what now counts to more than 200 inhabitants not including those who have moved out for their special purposes from the island.The centre of Qoma Island is located latitude 17.63 (173766S) and longitude 178.58(1783460E) or, 381km East (84) of the approximate centre of Fiji and 58 km north (18) from the capital of Suva.A view of part of Qoma Island taken from the Nukuvuto ForeshoreThere is 10 square kilometre area around Qoma Island and has an average elevation of 12 metre above sea-level.Since Qoma is a very small island, water is one of the main problems but now villagers have been provided with water tanks to aid the 6 springs around the island. On October 2011, a cheque of $13,000 has been readily signed for the reason of installing tap water around the island from a major source.There has been a huge move in their mode of transportation from traditional Fijian canoes to outboard motors or fibre glass boats and also larger wooden fishing vessels.From Traditional Bures in the 1970s now Qoma villagers live in high standard of housings, those with wooden buildings, concrete, tin and with full electrical appliances and modern furniture inside them.The year 2006 marked a very special moment when Qoma was supplied 24hours electricity in which they paid $38,800.00 for that special development.Qoma Island dwellers are keen to send their children to school and help them go to the very highest level that they can reach and this has been paid off since nowadays, some Qoma people are holding high positions both in government ministries and in companies as well.As of current, there have been ongoing projects on the Island including: Building a new bridge, with the height increased. Increasing the height of the sea-wall. Mangrove planting project Marine Life Protection Programme. Tap Water Project. Scholarship Programme. The aim is to complete all these projects in 5 years time.The Qoma villagers according to the chief, The Turaga Tuinabulebulewa, aims at educating its children to the very best extent, keep improving the standard of living, be law abiding citizen, serve God whole heartedly and to protect their environment.THE EFFECTS OF NATURAL DISASTERS ON QOMA ISLANDHURRICANEDuring the past century, Qoma Island has greatly suffered from continuous hurricane which, attacks and changes its shape and setting. According to an interview result, Qoma consisted of only two main pieces of whole lands before and not three as what it seems today.This was how Qoma looked like before, just two main pieces of whole landInterviews revealed that a hurricane, its name they didnt know struck the Island; this was way before Hurricane Bebe struck. There was no sea wall at the time to protect the edges of the Island until the 1980s when they were constructed. The particular Hurricane caught the island by surprise and since there was no seawall, the tidal waves that came with the hurricane flooded the whole island. Since most part of the island is covered with sand, waves can easily cut through them therefore, during this hurricane the tidal waves starts to separate the two islands, Qoma and Qoma Levu by creating a drain like form on the sand with around a meter wide and half a meter deep.This was the new look of Qoma created by the hurricaneThe situation gotten worse when hurricane Bebe struck as according to interviewees, many people were sick during this hurricane since there were not a lot of Medias then and the technologies might not have been what they are today.Hurricane Bebe also extends the already created gap uprooting Mulomulo plants and carrying away sands with it. After this hurricane, the gap increased to more than 30 metres but people can still cross over to Qoma Levu during high tide with water reaching up to their knees.The extended gap created by HurricaneElderly on the island sat and talked about the problem and came up with idea of creating the seawall to protect their homes.Hurricanes continue to struck the island and carrying with them the many white sandy beaches around Qoma Island. Cyclone Kina is one that was the last to have ahash effect on Qoma Island, carrying waves over the seawall and into the island and also damaging the bridge that bridges Qoma to Qoma Levu.The shaded portions around Qoma Island showed the places where there used to be white sandy beaches now goneLike many islands, Qoma villagers suffered a lot during and after the hurricane, since root-crops, fruits and vegetables usually die from salt water and takes time to grow again. The source of their waters are usually damaged and made salty therefore a lot of sicknesses and other water related problems are usually felt.Major threats are usually felt on the island with tidal waves flooding the whole island, houses damaged and their boats crushed, most people on the island are now wide awake of what hurricanes can do.Since government help is always late and insufficient for the people, this is one of those times when the Qoma people stand by and help each other out in all means until everyone is back on their feet.FIREFire is one of the major threats that can be fatal, very dangerous and can create grave hardships in water problem areas.Before the struck and destruction of hurricane Bebe on Qoma Island, a big fire attacked the Island of Qoma not sparing any more house. The cause of this great fire is still unknown to date.The time of the fire attack was around the 1960s when Qoma Island was still covered with Traditional Thatched Bures (Vale-Vaka-Viti). The houses were built close to each other that the roofs nearly touch each other. This housing structure on the island makes the spread of the fire faster and impossible to stop.All the trees that grew on the Island were burnt since there were a lot of coconut trees that stands around households. Also burnt were the very trees that grew around the shoreline protecting and holding the sands around the Island. When most of these vital trees were completely gone, the waves slowly ate the edges of Qoma diminishing its original shape and form.A drawing of Qoma Island right before the fire happened. All the houses and trees were burnt downThe fire was not able to cross over Qoma Levu due to the wind direction and the readily created gap between the two islands Qoma and Qoma Levu. Those who lived during the time of the fire do mentioned that if the fire was able to cross over to Qoma Levu, the problem would have been far worse.It was because of this fire that the Qoma village are always precautious about making fires whether in the village or on their plantation.TORNADOTornadoes are extremely dangerous according to Qoma villagers .Elderly who lived during the time of the two tornadoes attack on the island are scared to death about the terrific sight they seen. These tornadoes caused extreme damages and fatalities up to 5 villagers.Big igneous rocks were moved from their original positions; households lifted and left spinning in the mid air and people thrown against walls. These are some of the things that happened during the tornadoes attack on the Island. People find it difficult to escape the tornado since the sea is all around them. Also, there were not a lot of big trees on the island which the people can hold on to during the incident.The black mark showed the path that the second tornado followed during its second attack on Qoma IslandThose who lived during the time said that they had no clue of the attack since no machine can pick up or predict the time when a tornado is going to strike. They formed so quickly and travel so fast than the speed of the human beings escaping from them. This has made the villagers afraid every time a tornado draws near to the island.Interviewees revealed that the second tornado that attacks Qoma Island travelled through the island uprooting trees, destroying plantation and mangroveswamps. It also damaged coral reef around the island forming drain like look on its path.Nowadays, whenever divers in Qoma Island sees any signs of tornadoes forming while at sea, they will make sure to get away or escape from the sea immediately. Moreover, children are taught of the precautionary measures to take when a tornado strikes, just to prevent panic and unnecessary movements that might create problems and fatalities.EARTHQUAKEEarthquake is not something that most of the people in Fiji are afraid of, because they rarely happen in our country. Eventhough they do happen almost every day, most are not felt and those that we can feel might just be minor tremors that are usually nonfatal. This is different when it comes to Qoma villagers, they are afraid of earthquakes and what it has been doing to their homeland. Although we count small shakes as just minor tremors they are doing deadly damages to the Island of Qoma.A picture of a tree that slid down from the top of the cliffIn 2004, an earthquake was felt on the Island at around 3 oclock in the morning which shook the households waking people up. A few houses were partly damaged and the waves were felt to change as well as they smash against the sea-wall doing some minor damages on them. Many children and adults were left shaking from the incident as it was the first that most of them ever felt.There is a cliff at the north of Qoma Island which usually shows evidence every time a minor tremor happens. There will be stones sliding down and smashing against the water, land sliding away can be seen and heard by the villages and trees uprooted as well. A man was killed in the 1900s when a falling stone from the cliff hit him on the head.A picture of the cliff that is on the verge of crashing and could be deadlyClose to the side of the cliff are the Chiefly Burial Ground or Sautabu and a few houses of the Chiefly sub-clan. All these are now at risk due to the falling away of stones and land slide on this part of the land.This are two pictures showing the about to falling stones from the cliff that are now at riskThe Qoma villagers are also aware of the fact that Tsunami always strike after earthquakes. Since they dwell on a small island of an elevation of only 12meters above sea-level, the effect of any Tsunami will be fatal and very dangerous if any is ever going to happen.THE EFFECTS OF RISING SEALEVEL ON QOMA ISLANDIt has been years now since the villagers of Qoma Island and her leaders have been monitoring the rising of sea-level, its effects on the Island and the steps to take in dealing with this major issue of the island.They have been doing a lot of environment protection programme that was initially thought to help fight against rising sea-level but interview results that all these efforts of theirs seems to be in vain. The Qoma villagers are now aware that it takes the whole world sacrifice to slow down the speed of rising sea-level which leaves them with some very tough decisions to make.It was in the 1980s when the first sea wall was created on Qoma Island, realising the fact that the waves are silently coming inside the village. In January 2011, the fourth increase in the height of the seawall commenced to make the current height of two meters. It was only 30 centimetres high during the first construction then moved to 90 centimetres in the second move, a metre and a half in the third move and recently reaching up to 2 meters high.THESE ARE PICTURES SHOWING THE INCREMENT IN THE HEIGHT OF THE SEAWALL SINCE FIRST CONSTRUCTIONAccording to elderly on the Island, the rising of the sea level has been fast during the last two decades and all the ways that they have been doing in trying to protect their homeland has seemingly going nowhere. Five years ago, the villagers tried to expand the size of the Island by extending the sea wall from where it originally was. A strong northerly wind put all of it down so its entire plan came to a halt. This also came as the village leaders decide to stop and work on what they currently have.Part of the sea wall that was extended but was brought down by strong wavesOne of the main affected areas on the Island is a place called Nakasiva. This is the graveyard for three clans on the Island. The sea wall was constructed to protect them but the waves proved too strong as it managed to go over, eating sands away and is now touching the graveyard. Trees that grew beside them were uprooted and left lying on the sand now underwater.View of the trees beside the graveyard that was destroyed by the waves and left lying on the sandThe place marked X is the Nakasiva graveyard and the line marked gray is the part of the Island that has been eaten by the wavesAnother part of the Island that was affected is called Nukubalavu, another graveyard for only one clan. Sea wall was also constructed to protect not only the graveyard but also the side of that island. Since, it is open to the south, strong winds and waves brought it down three years ago and now the sea is slowly eating the soil at the Nukubalavu cemetery now touching the graveyard that are on the sides.The Nukubalavu cemetery is marked X, and in blue is the area being affected by the waves and rising in sea levelNatural disaster is not the only thing that eats the sand away, the rising in sea level do play a role too in diminishing the amount of sands and in the alteration of the Island shape and size. From the damages that were left by the natural disasters, the waves worsen the situation by even enlarging the Gap between Qoma from Qoma Levu, washing away the left over sands that are still around the island. With the works of the Natural Disasters and Rising in Sea Level, the size of Qoma Island has really decreased. These are the exact words of the oldest women in the village, Mrs Ema Taloga, 102 years old: Sa veisau dina sara la nai rairai ni vanua ka u. Sa qai lailai sobu la mai na vanua, ka sa dua la na ka na o olo ni oso mai ni ua. [The change in the Island view has been tremendous. The land mass kept on declining and the rising in sea level has been really fast].This is what Qoma Island looks like today. With mangroves around it and 6 springs within the IslandThe northern part of Qoma Lailai is also affected by the waves and the rising in sea level and nowadays it becomes a normal sight to see that part of the Island being underwater. Mulomulo plants and mangrove swamps were uprooted and also left lying on the sand. Also damaged, is the Southern part of the Island with trees slowly dying out as sea level reaches them.This is the picture of the part of Qoma lailai that is usually underwater during high tidesWith the current threat that Qoma Island is facing, according to the interview result, all that elderly are doing is advising their children to go for higher education, get better jobs and move out from the Island to higher grounds. Their minds have come to light with the fact that one day they will have to vacate their current homeland.ANALYSISBar Graph showing the Height of the Sea wall Versus YearsHeight of the Sea Wall (meters) 2.5 2 2.2 1.5 0.9 0.3 0 1970 1980 1990 2000 2011 1 0.5 0 0 0.3 1.5 0.9 2.2 1.5 Height of the Sea Wall (meters)Bar Graph showing the Height of the Sea wall Versus Years1970 1980 1990 20002011Explanation: The Bar Graph above shows the height of the Sea wall versus year. The height of the sea wall increase at an average of 0.55 metres every ten years which is a steady and a very dangerous growth measuring it on an island of an average of only 12 meters elevation above sea level. Looking at the above graph, we can predict that all houses on Qoma Island today will have to be shifted elsewhere in the next ten years. Watching the growth, the increments kept increasing, from 0.3 to 0.6, 0.6 and then 0.7 is the increment in the last 10years. It is expected to even go faster with the current global condition.The length of Gap between Qoma and Qoma Levu versus Years80 60 Length 40 (Meters) 20 0 0 1920 1 1940 1970 Years 1980 2011 30 80 50Explanation: Since the 1940s, the growth in length of the gap between Qoma and Qoma Levu has been really fast. More than 30 meters of the gap alone is contributed by the strength of the waves. It is evident that if there were no sea wall, the Island of Qoma would have now been underwater. With the ever increasing in amount and level of the sea, the Qoma Island residents need to be on full alert on the cruel reality they will have to face in vacating their land.CONCLUSIONIt had been a very interesting journey moving across and studying the Island of Qoma and realising some of the very dangerous truth that was slowly uncovered. In this piece of work, the grave truth that was realised is just a rude awakening. Qoma in very short term is on the verge of getting into trouble of being flooded underwater sooner enough for some people to realise. With the evidence that is shown all across the Island, it all points and signifies one thing: The Qoma villagers have to put in place a proper vacation plan. The leaders need to know where the people will be located, the amount of area they need to fill and the ways that they will be able to meet their proper needs and wants. They must also consider other important factors that are vital when settling in a new place. The Qoma villagers have faced some major threats but there still more deadly ones to come. With the fast pace increase in sea level and Natural Disasters occurring more frequently than before, Qoma Island could come crashing down at any time. The size and shape of Qoma Island have been greatly altered by the continuous attack of Natural Disasters and with the ever increasing in the amount and level of the sea. The total land mass kept decreasing due to Natural Disasters and Strong Waves, and the average height of the Islands elevation will also decrease due to the increase in sea level. To conclude, it is now the time for the Qoma Island residents to take action and move or they might have to face grave consequences later on when the ruthless nature will strike.BIBLIOGRAPHY1. Soanes, C (ed.) 2010, The Oxford English Mini Dictionary, 7th edn, New Delhi 110001, India. 2. www.wikimapia.org/1634317/Qoma-IslandAPPENDIXInterview Quetions:1. Give an explanation about the size and shape of Qoma Island when you were young. 2. If the size and shape of Qoma Island has changed, state if you know what changed the size and shape of the Island? 3. Does the rising of sea level have anything to do with the change in size and shape of Qoma Island? [yes or no] 4. Do natural disasters have anything to do with the change in size and shape of Qoma Island? [yes or no] 5. State other factors; if any that may have changed the size and shape of Qoma Island. 6. Explain the changes that you felt being a villager on Qoma Island from you young ages to date. 7. Give and explain the risks that you have experienced and the ones that you know of that might have the possibility of happening staying on an Island. 8. What do you think Qoma will look like in the next 50 years time? 9. Do you have any plans on what to do in the case of any natural disasters? 10.Have you done anything to protect your Island? If yes, state what actions.Photos:The scene of the Bures on Qoma Island before the fire happenedThe pictures of the shoreline of Qoma Island showing evidence of Trees falling down as waves swipes sands away

Recommended

View more >