Rising sea drives Panama islanders to mainland

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PANAMA: Vue aérienne de l'île Soledad Miria suite à un incendie Kuna

PANAMA: Vue aérienne de l’île Soledad Miria suite à un incendie, région autonome Kuna. 27/12/07. Copyright AFP Photo

Panama (Reuters) – Rising seas from global warming, coming after years of coral reef destruction, are forcing thousands of indigenous Panamanians to leave their ancestral homes on low-lying Caribbean islands.

Seasonal winds, storms and high tides combine to submerge the tiny islands, crowded with huts of yellow cane and faded palm fronds, leaving them ankle-deep in emerald water for days on end.

Pablo Preciado, leader of the island of Carti Sugdub, remembers that in his childhood floods were rare, brief and barely wetted his toes. “Now it’s something else. It’s serious,” he said.


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