Artificial island feared in Escoda Shoal

PCG sees signs of possible island-building in Escoda Shoal 

/ 10:52 PM May 10, 2024

Criushed corals spotted at Escoda Shoal, WPS

Crushed corals in Escoda Shoal (PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD )

MANILA, Philippines — Crushed corals were dumped in Escoda (Sabina) Shoal in a development that could be a prelude to the emergence of an artificial island there. 

Commodore Jay Tarriela, Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, said this was learned during the deployment of BRP Teresa Magbanua in the area. 

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Tarriela said the deployment was done after Jonathan Anticamara of the University of the Philippines Institute of Biology  found coral rubble or dead coral fragments “piled on Pag-asa Cays 1, 2 and 3 that are now exposed during high tide.”

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In his presentation last May 4, Anticamara said that the developments in Pagasa Cays “are possibly products of island-building activities.”

“After more than 3 weeks of monitoring [by BRP Teresa Magbanua], the PCG has discovered that the physical characteristics of the LTE (low tide elevation) surrounding Escoda/Sabina Shoal are similar to those of the sandy cays [of Pagasa Island],” Tarriela said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

“It has been observed that crushed corals were dumped and it is highly likely that the maritime features were altered,” he added.

Escoda Shoal is 75 nautical miles from the coast of mainland Palawan or well within the country’s exclusive economic zone.

 

 

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