Family Pleas for Help as King Tide Destroys Home in Torres Strait Islands

StoryfulWeatherPublished: January 31, 2018
Published: January 31, 2018

King tides coinciding with the supermoon inundated communities in the Torres Strait with one family filmed on January 30 pleading for help as water washed through their Yam Island home. The Torres Strait Islands, which lies in the coral sea bordering Queensland and Papua New Guinea, is one of the most at-risk places in Australia from rising sea levels, according to SBS. For more than a decade, Torres Strait authorities and the communities living there have called on state and federal government assistance to help against the king tides that ravage the islands every year. Despite a $24.5m seawall being rebuilt on Saibai in 2017, powerful waves crashed through the island’s defences earlier in the week. However, Cairns Post reported the damage could’ve been significantly worse if the wall wasn’t there. This video shows water washing through homes in the low-lying regions on Mabuiag Point at Yam Island. Cairns Post reported these are social housing complexes known as “tin sheds”. In the video, Yam Island resident Latisha Gaiden is heard pleading with the Torres Strait Island Regional Council for assistance stating the king tides hit their homes every year, adding their calls for help are ignored. Member for Cook Cynthia Lui, a Yam Island resident, told SBS the flooding experienced on Tuesday was the worst she’s ever seen. Credit: RuannaZoe Kepa via Storyful

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