From: Radio Australia News
Mon, 23 Mar 2009
A reef-top cemetery in Solomon Islands has been destroyed in what villagers say is clear evidence of the effects of climate change.
Villagers in Temotu Province say they have seen the effects in the Reef Islands, a group of 16 small coral islands 80 kilometres from Santa Cruz island, in eastern Solomon Islands.
The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation reports an entire cemetery at Tuo village, Fenualoa Island, has been washed away by waves.
The villagers say the destruction was carried out by a rise in sea levels which has happened gradually over the past few years.
Tuo village community leader, Ezekiel Nodua, told the broadcaster the only remains of the graves are broken pieces of cement scattered over a wide area of off-shore reef.
The reef at high tide now becomes submerged by the sea.
Mr Nodua says the people of Tuo village now bury their dead beside their homes, because they no longer have a community cemetery to bury their dead.
The densely populated islands have been known to be previously subject to tidal surges caused by cyclones and volcanic activity.