Tuvalu

Reclamation relocates hotel inland

  • 7 February 2016

Apparently the Vaiaku Lagi Hotel (the only hotel on Funafuti Atoll) has moved inland. It’s not the building that’s moved, but land reclamation has pushed the shoreline out.

There is now a “beach” right where the hotel sits on Funafuti Lagoon.  I assume that this work was related to the dredging and refilling of the “Borrow Pits“, and is intended to create better protection against erosion and storms.

 

Here are some photos of how it previously looked.  At the time of my visit, the shoreline in front of the hotel looked like this:

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I stayed in the room on the ground floor on the right, closest to the small pier.  The view from the room looked like this (it was raining – you’ll have to imagine a more sunny view across the lagoon), but now will be quite different.

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The small pier that forms the logo for this website looks like it might have gone (or perhaps has been relocated).

Funafuti Lagoon from near the Vaiaku Lagi Hotel

Back in 2010, a little further down from the hotel, I also took these photos at high tide.  The weather that day was a little windy, but the water was still gently lapping up against the coconut palms, and had definitely eroded past the concrete wall.

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Here’s the same location at low tide.

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Even in calm weather, it was apparent how the lagoon waters could be pushed up onto the island if the waves or tide were high enough, and is further explanation for the reason behind the reclamation works.  The storm surge at new year’s time is another recent example of the lagoon flooding up over the road and into houses and other buildings, so this is not just a theoretical concern.

 


 

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