11 July 2009

The Big Picture - Landslide on St. John's

There have not only been massive landslides at St. John's Island in recent years, but also massive work done to protect the slopes in Sep 08 to Sep 09. I wasn't sure if the cure was worse than the disease.
I took these photos of the slope protection works on St. John's in May when we were coming back from a trip to Sister's Islands.

The working area, from an MPA notice about it, was extensive.
The view from afar suggested that the works were massive. This is the western shore of St. John's facing the Sisters.
With close ups.
Around the corner on the eastern shore, there were more slope protection works done.
Here's a close up.
So it was with trepidation that I visited the shore today. Is everything wiped out by the slope protection construction?

St. John's narrow reefs ring steep natural cliffs.
These tend to crumble and fall down.
Resulting in humungous boulders all around the shore.
This is a natural process and results in stunning natural formations that are no longer commonly seen.

Here's a view of the slope protection on the eastern shore.
A closer view.
Here's another section on the eastern shore.
Around 'the corner' to get to the western side, there's a lovely view of the Sisters off St. John's Island.
There is a rather broad sandy shore on the western side. Although at high tide (where the rocks turn darker) the shore is totally rocky with seriously crashing waves and a strong current. So it's not safe to walk around here if you are not familiar with the tides.

Here is where I saw three lovely specimens of the very rare Xylocarpus rhumphii! These sturdy trees are found in such boulder-strewn rocky shores. The other specimens that I've seen of these trees are on the natural cliff-rocky shore of Sentosa. These trees seem to do best in such habitats, which now is no longer common on our shores.
And a view of the Sisters on the boulder strewn western shore.
And more slope protection.
There is also a wall that runs almost the entire length of the western shore.
Well, it seems the works done did not massively damage the eastern shores. And the rare trees on the western shores are still there. It remains to be seen whether the slope protection will help the landslide situation.

I didn't really get a chance to explore properly as the tide was coming in and later on it rained. We should certainly come back again to keep an eye on this shore.


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