The stunning sand loss at Ha'atafu Beach on Tongatapu is revealed in two photos taken nearly 50 years apart.
Matangi Tonga reader Leigh Harkness shared the two pictures. In 1968 the magnificent sandy beach was level with the end of the access road and vehicles could drive out along the beach head. It was one of the safest and most popular swimming beaches on the island.
“I was interested in the article you had about sand dredging in Tonga,” said Leigh.
“Two photos taken at about the same spot at Ha’atafu Beach, one in 1968 and the other in 2017 - shows how much sand has disappeared in those nearly 50 years.”
26 September 2020: No offshore dredging, sand miners hit best beaches
9 October 2014: Tongan islet disappears beneath the sea
14 November 2012: Sand mining drowned Monuafe island
23 March 2004: Tonga moves to stop beach sand removal