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article imageEarthquake Lifts an Island Upward, Exposing Coral Reefs

By Lisa Angotti     Apr 7, 2007 in Environment
The future of fishing villages on Ranogga Island is uncertain. A massive quake shifted the island and left coral reefs exposed and dying, killing off the island's main food source.
The 8.0 earthquake that hit the Solomon Islands has lifted the island of Ranogga, so much in fact that coral reefs are now exposed. The shoreline of the remote island has been pushed out by 70 meters as a result of the quake.
The reefs, which were popular with scuba divers from around the world, are now exposed and dying. Eye witnesses say that the reefs were bleaching n the sun and covered with dead fish, eels, clams and other marine life.
At least 34 people died after the massive earthquake caused a tsunami, and more than 5000 rare now homeless.
Red cross and other organizations have not yet reached Ranonogga, but experts say that the geography of the island has been permanently damaged.
"Water go back and not come back again," one resident said.
The fishing committees on the islands will suffer immensely as a result of the quake and the loss of the coral reefs, as fish are a major source of food for the villagers. Now they will need to travel to find food if the fish don't return to their shores. Experts say the entire food chain is now disrupted.
More about Solomon, Coral, Reef
 
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