Research shows that Bangkok may be submerged within 15 years, with experts warning that the capital might have to be relocated.
A new report from Thailand’s government says that Bangkok, its capital city and home to some 14 million people, could be underwater in the next 15 years thanks to a combination of sinking land and rising global sea levels.
The city, much of which lies at an elevation of just fewer than five feet above sea level, already is sinking at a rate of two centimeters (about 0.8 inches) every year. Should it continue at this rate for the rest of this century, by 2100 “Bangkok will be fully submerged and unliveable,” the Global Post reports.
This sinking, called subsidence by the scientists who study it, is accelerated by the sheer number, size and weight of all the buildings pressing down on the land all around Bangkok, according to the NRC committee that issued last week’s report.
Relocation of the capital will have to be considered, Kulsomboom added, especially if development continues unabated and groundwater continues to be pumped from underneath the city.
Among the committee’s recommendations was the construction of a seawall to protect the greater Bangkok area from rising seas, estimated to cost about 500 billion Thai baht – or about $14.3 billion in U.S. dollars.
Gildshire Editor, Mia Russell