Work underway on stronger seawall in Tuvalu
A United Nations Development Programme-commissioned project to build a 500-metre-long seawall is underway on the Tuvalu atoll of Nukufetau.
The project comes around 17 months after Tropical Cyclone Pam battered Tuvalu and created wave action which dislodged much of the former seawall on the island.
It's hoped the new seawall on Nukufetau's northside will ensure the atoll is better equipped to handle cyclones and other severe weather events.
The $US 6 million project is being undertaken by Australian dredging and civil contracting company Hall Pacific and is expected to be completed towards the end of the year.
Newswire reports Hall Pacific's Managing Director Cameron Hall said the replacement seawall would span more than three metres high and protect the local community for years to come.
Cyclone Pam caused significant damage to Nukufetau's community settlement, including the atoll's infrastructure and environmental assets.
Mr Hall said Pam highlighted the inadequacy of the old seawall and the importance of having a robust barrier in place to protect against large waves along the open stretch of coastline.
Nukufetau's low elevation and limited land area leave the atoll vulnerable to coastal erosion and inundation. To combat this, Hall Pacific had proposed designs for submerged wave breaks as part of the project.
Mr Hall mentioned that the project would encompass an additional seawall crest, to improve resilience to overtopping.