①From February until April, something strange happens on the islands at high tide: seawater comes out through small holes in the ground twice a day.
②This is because the soil of the islands is made up of sediments of coral reef, and water easily passes through these sediments.
③Consequently, as the tide rises, the land becomes filled with water like a sponge.
④This is happening on some parts of the island.
⑤Take a look at the pictures below.
⑥Normally there is no water in the square but as the tide rises, puddles start to appear.
⑦The puddles get bigger and bigger and are joined by other puddles.
⑧Very quickly, a large area of land becomes flooded with seawater.
⑨The water goes up to a level of 50 centimeters or higher in some areas, and it sometimes takes days for the water to go down.
⑩One man said, "We used to drink the well water until about ten years ago, but now we can't drink it.
⑪We can't use it for farming, either.
⑫The well water has too much salt in it.
⑬Seawater crabs are now living inside the well."
⑭Pointing to his pulaka field, he sighed.
⑮"We had to give up growing pulaka.
⑯Pulaka cannot survive once their roots are soaked with seawater.
⑰Growing it here is just a waste of time."
⑱It became difficult to grow many other vegetables on the island as well.
⑲As a result, the Tuvaluans had no choice but to depend on food brought in from foreign countries.
⑳They were beginning to lose their traditional way of life.