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Rising sea levels have caused Panama to evacuate residents of one of its islands. The inhabitants of tiny Gardi Sugdub island off Panama's Caribbean coast are being relocated to mainland. However, Panamanian government official said some people are refusing to vacate their ancestral home. They will stay until absolute last minute. Panama's government said Gardi Sugdub is sign of things to come as more low-lying islands are under threat from being engulfed by ocean. recent study by Panama's Environment Ministry estimated country would lose 2.01 per cent of its coastal territory to rising sea levels. It added that 38,000 people will need to be relocated at cost of about $1.2 billion.

Gardi Sugdub has been home to indigenous Guna people for generations. overcrowded island is just 366 metres long and 137 metres wide, but was home to nearly 300 families. They relied on fishing and tourism to make living. Islander Nadin Morales, 24, said: "We're little sad…but sea is sinking the island little by little." She added: "Lately, I've seen that climate change has had major impact.… tide comes to level it didn't before, and the heat is unbearable." Ms Morales said she hopes her community will prosper in its new location. Her new home will be in $12 million government development two kilometres from port from which boats go to Gardi Sugdub.

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