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Megacities face megafloods [VIDEO]

Bangkokians deal with flood water Bangkokians deal with flood water Suwan Wanawattanawon
12 Mar
2015
African and Asian coastal megacities are at the highest risk from a global rise in sea level, says a new report

Between 2030 and 2060, changes in population in coastal zones will leave urban populations in Africa and Asia exposed to flooding from storm surges associated with sea level rise. In Africa, Egypt will be among the worst hit, according to research from Kiel University.

journal.pone.0118571.g005-2Population change and sea level rise compared across the decades [Image: Kiel University]

The Met Office suggests that a three-foot increase in sea level rise combined with more intense storm surges could affect 15 per cent of Egypt’s coastal population by the century’s end. Around 25 per cent of the Nile Delta could be flooded during such an event.

‘By 2030, population density along the Egyptian coast is expected to increase to 1,902 people/km2 and to 2,681 people/km by 2060,’ the Kiel report notes. 

Preparing megacities for megafloods

 

The study combines population growth estimates for low elevation coastal zones and 100-year floodplains with information on 1-in-100 year storm surge events. Most megacities – defined as population areas with over ten million inhabitants – are located in coastal zones, according to the report.

Asian megacities will also suffer from increased floods, according to the report. China, Bangladesh, India and Vietnam account 53 per cent of the global population vulnerable to coastal flooding. It’s a trend the report expects to continue into the 2060s.

A 2012 report from the Asia Foundation highlights Dhaka, Manila, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta and Mumbai as being particularly vulnerable to flooding.

Read the report at POLS.

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