Will Sri Lanka lose ‘Muthupanthiya’ Island?

Will Sri Lanka lose ‘Muthupanthiya’ Island?

Will Sri Lanka lose ‘Muthupanthiya’ Island?

Written by Lahiru Fernando

29 Jan, 2018 | 8:21 pm

There is a threat of Sri Lanka losing the ‘Muthupanthiya’ Island which is situated off the coast of Arachchikattuwa, Chilaw. ‘Muthupanthiya’ is located roughly around 500 metres away from the mainland.

This is because of the coastal erosion that is going on around the Island.

Around 150 families live in this island, and fishing is their main livelihood.

Rock bunds were constructed around the Island over the years as a solution to the erosion, . However, residents claim that this has been a failed attempt.

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What is ‘Coastal Erosion’?

It is the wearing away and breaking up of rock, beach and sand dunes along the coast.

Erosion happens in a number of ways (Source: BBC);

Hydraulic: Air may become trapped in joints and cracks on a cliff face. When a wave breaks, the trapped air is compressed which weakens the cliff and causes erosion.

Abrasion: Bits of rock and sand in waves grind down cliff surfaces like sandpaper.

Attrition: Waves smash rocks and pebbles on the shore into each other, and they break and become smoother.

Solution: Acids contained in sea water will dissolve some types of rock such as chalk or limestone.


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