Batasan Island

Maximum elevation above water: +2.20m
Land area: 6 ha
Reef flat area: 850 ha
Population (2015): 1,046
Households (2015): 251
Households with income below poverty threshold (2015): 40%
Median height of tidal flooding (2016): + 36cm
Number of flooded days per year (2016): 135 days

Batasan is the largest island out of the four. It has a wide, shallow reef flat, allowing residents greater access to coral stones and enabling a 54-ha mangrove plantation to mature. Given these geophysical characteristics, the community has readily resorted to coral mining as a means to adapt to tidal flooding. However, as corals serve as natural barriers against waves, mining them actually proves to be maladaptive, rendering the island more vulnerable to storm surges. Nonetheless, Batasan’s mangrove forest has so far been successful in protecting the island from typhoons.

Batasan, along with Ubay Island, was the most severely affected by the earthquake-induced land subsidence of October 2013. In 2016, Batasan experienced partial to complete flooding across 135 days, with median heights reaching up to +36cm during a complete inundation event caused by a King Tide in June.
However, rather than simply relocating, its residents have been investing significantly in implementing hard measures (e.g. building new houses on stilts, raising floors of old houses using coral stones), as well as soft measures (e.g. elevating belongings before the tide comes). This shows that relocation does not necessarily come as a direct result of sea level rise, especially as social factors such as place attachment and livelihood source could also play a great role in the final decision to move.