Adapting to Rising Seas, Schools Move to the Rafters and Cats Swim

The red marker indicates the location of Batasan Island, Philippines. Imagery ©2020 TerraMetrics and map data ©2020 Google.

As the seas rise higher, low lying islands and coastal areas are continually threatened by floods. Batasan, an island in the Philippines, is no exception. In 2013, a major earthquake (7.2 magnitude) hit the island, causing it to collapse downward. Pelagia Villarmia, an 80-year-old resident of the island, reflects on the reality of her situation: “I will be gone before Batasan is gone,” she said. “But Batasan will also disappear.” The people of Batasan have adapted to the new norm—homes are placed on blocks of coral stone and plants are in portable pots, rather than in regularly flooded sections of land. Folks make adjustments to their way of life because the island is their home.

Click here to read the full article on the New York Times website.